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mu\mtits Historical Sfltictj, 








22, School Street. 



This volume embraces the Proceedings of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society during the period of two 
years, — from the Annual Meeting in April, 1858, to 
the Annual Meeting in April, 1860. 

For the engraving of Sir Richard Salton stall from 
a portrait by Rembrandt, — a fine copy of which was 
presented to the Society by Charles Sanders, Esq., — 
we are indebted to Leverett Saltonstall, Esq., a Resi- 
dent Member of the Society. The Portrait of Prescott 
was engraved expressly for this volume through the 
liberality of his son-in-law, James Lawrence, Esq. 

The publication of the Society's transactions, begin- 
ning with the year 1855, having been now brought 
down to the present date, can henceforth keep pace 
with the successive meetings. 


Committee of 


Boston, March 31, 1860. 




Elected April, 1859. 


JARED SPARKS, LL.D Cambridge. 


liecorbmg SSecwfarg. 


HON. RICHARD FROTHINGHAM, Jun., A.M. . . Charlestown. 



Hiattbmg Committer. 



CHARLES DEANE, A.M. Cambridge. 


HENRY A. WHITNEY, A.M " Boston. 



Hon. Josiah Quincy, LL.D. 
Hon. James Savage, LL.D. 
Rev. Charles Lowell, D.D. 
Hon. Nathan Hale, LL.D. 
Hon. Edward Everett, LL.D. 
Rev. William Jenks, D.D. 
Jared Sparks, LL.D. 
Joseph E. Worcester, LL.D. 
Joseph Willard, A.M. 
Rev. Joseph B. Felt, LL.D. 
Hon. Lemuel Shaw, LL.D. 
Rev. Convers Francis, D.D. 
George Ticknor, LL.D. 
Hon. Nathan Appleton, LL.D. 
Hon. Daniel A. White, LL.D. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, LL.D. 
Rev. Alvan Lamson, D.D. 
Hon. Charles F. Adams, A.M. 
Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D. 
Hon. John C. Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. Nathl. L. Frothingham, D.D. 
Hon. George S. Hillard, LL.D. 
I Ion. William Minot, A.M. 
lion. Peleg W. Chandler, A.M. 
Rev. George W. Blagden, D.D. 

Rev. Lucius R. Paige, A.M. 
Hon. Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 
Rev. Chandler Robbins, D.D. 
Francis Bowen, A.M. 
John Langdon Sibley, A.M. 
Hon. R. Frothingham, jun., A.M. 
Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, M.D. 
Henry Wheatland, M.D. 
Hon. David Sears, A.M. 
Sylvester Judd, Esq. 
Thomas H. Webb, M.D. 
Charles Deane, A.M. 
George Livermore, A.M. 
Francis Parkman, A.B. 
Ellis Ames, A.M. 
Hon. John H. Clifford, LL.D. 
William Brigham, A.B. 
Hon. Emory Washburn, LL.D. 
Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop, D.D. 
Rev. William Newell, D.D. 
Hon. Lorenzo Sabine, A.M. 
Thomas Aspinwall, A.M. 
Rev. John S. Barry. 
John A. Lowell, LL.D. 
Lucius M. Sargent, A.M. 



Cornelius C. Felton, LL.D. 
J. Lothrop Motley, A.B. 
Nathaniel I. Bowditch, A.M. 
George R. Russell, LL.D. 
Hon. Charles H. Warren, A.M. 
Rev. James Walker, D.D. 
Rev. Edmund H. Sears, A.B. 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D. 
Hon. William H. Sumner, A.M. 
Henry W. Longfellow, A.M. 
Rev. Frederic H. Hedge, D.D. 
Frederic Tudor, Esq. 
Jacob Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hon. George T. Davis, A.B. 
Hon. Stephen Salisbury, A.M. 
Henry Austin Whitney, A.M. 
Hon. Luther V, Bell, M.D. 
Rev. William S. Bartlet, A.M. 
J. G. Holland, M.D. 
Rev. Charles Brooks, A.M. 
Hon. William Sturgis. 

Leverett Saltonstall, A.M. 
Hon. William Appleton. 
Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, A.M. 
Samuel F. Haven, A.M. 
George T. Curtis, A.B. 
Richard H. Dana, jun., A.M. 
Hon. Levi Lincoln, LL.D. 
Joseph Palmer, M.D. 
Hon. George T. Bigelow, LL.D. 
Hon. Caleb Cushing, LL.D. 
Henry W. Torrey, A.M. 
Hon. Joel Parker, LL.D. 
Williams Latham, A.B. 
Rev. Robert C. Waterston, A.M. 
Hon. Charles Hudson, A.M. 
Hon. Theophilus Parsons, LL.D. 
Thomas C. Amory, A.M. 
Rev. Charles Mason, D.D. 
George Sumner, Esq. 
Hon. Benj. F. Thomas, LL.D. 
Samuel A. Green, M.D. 




Tliis List is believed to contain the Names of all the Honorary and Corresponding 
s, elected as above, now living. 

John Disney, Esq. 

Rev. Francis Lister Hawks, DD. 

Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D. 

Henri Ternaux-Compans. 

George Catlin, Esq. 

John Winthrop, Esq. 

Joaquim Jose Da Costa de Macedo. 

Hon. Daniel D. Barnard. 

Frederic de Waldeck. 

Israel K. Tefft, Esq. 

Hon. David L. Swain, LL.D. 

Hon. James M. Wayne, LL.D. 

M. Hall McAllister, Esq. 

Rev. William B. Stevens, D.D. 

Henry Black, LL.D. 

Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D. 

George Atkinson Ward, Esq. 

Rev. Joseph Hunter, F.A.S. 

Richard Almack, Esq. 

Rev. George Oliver. 

Sir Archibald Alison, Bt., D.C.L. 

Col. James D. Graham. 

Robert Lemon, Esq. 

Benjamin Silliman, LL.D. 
Rev. Eliphalet Nott, D.D. 
John Wakefield Francis, M.D. 
Hon. Gulian C. Verplanck, LL.D. 
Frederic von Adelung. 
Don Manuel Moreno, M.D. 
Don Jose Maria Salazar. 
Rev. John Hutchinson. 
Charles Christian Rafn, P.D. 
Thomas C. Halliburton, Esq. 
Charles Fraser, Esq. 
Sir Francis Palgrave. 
Hon. Lewis Cass, LL.D. 
Theodore Dwight, A.M. 
Cesar Moreau. 
Erastus Smith, Esq. 
Hon. James Kirke Paulding. 
Rev. Benjamin Tapp an, D.D. 
Joshua Francis Fisher, A.M. 
T. A. Moerenbout. 
Usher Parsons, M.D. 
Hon. George Folsom, A.M. 
Rev. Luther Halsey, D.D. 



Thomas C. Grattan, Esq. 

John Romeyne Brodhead, A.M. 

Major E. B. Jarvis. 

E. George Squier, Esq. 

Payne Kenyon Kilbourne. 

Miss Frances Manwaring Caulkins. 

Thomas Donaldson, Esq. 

Hon. George Bancroft, LL.D. 

Don Lucas Alaman. 

J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq. 

Robert Bigsby, LL.D. 

Rev. Joseph Romilly, A.M. 

James Ricker, jun., Esq. 

Henry Stevens, Esq. 

Cyrus Eaton, Esq. 

Hon. William Willis, A.M. 

Frederic Griffin, Esq. 

Hon. Elijah Hay ward. 

William S. Southgate, Esq. 

Hon. Samuel G. Arnold. 

Hon. Charles S. Davies. 

John Gilmary Shea, Esq. 

James Lenox, Esq. 

Rt. Rev. Samuel Wilberforce, D.D. 

Winthrop Sargent, A.M. 

Earl Stanhope. 

Hon. William C. Rives. 

Hon. Peter Force. 

Hon. John R. Bartlett, A.M. 

Samuel Eliot, A.M. 

G. P. Faribault, Esq. 

William Paver, Esq. 




Frangois Pierre Guillaume Guizot, 

Lord Lyndhurst. 
Count Jules de Menou. 
Hon. J. J. Crittenden, LL.D. 
Hon. Edward Coles. 
Baron Charles Dupin. 
Edme Francois Jomard. 
Hon. Robt. Hallowell Gardiner, A.M. 
M. Mignet. 

Rev. William B. Sprague, D.D. 
Rev. Samuel Osgood, D.D. 
William Durrant Cooper, F.S.A. 

E. B. O'Callaghan, M.D. 
Buckingham Smith, Esq. 
Benjamin F. French, Esq. 
Francis Lieber, P.D. 
William H. Trescott, Esq. 
Rev. A. P. Peabody, D.D. 
Richard Hildreth, A.B. 
Dr. J. G. Kohl. 
Hon. A. G. Greene. 
Hon. J. P. Kennedy. 
Hon. G. P. Marsh. 
Benjamin R. Winthrop, Esq. 
J. Carson Brevoort, Esq. 
Rev. Lord Arthur Hervey. 
Horatio Gates Somerby, Esq. 
George H. Moore, Esq. 
Hon. William R, Staples. 



ANNUAL MEETING, April 8, 1858. 

THE Society held their annual meeting, April 8, 
1858, at their rooms in Tremont Street, Boston; 
the President, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 
The Librarian communicated donations from the City 
of Boston ; the Howard Association, Norfolk, Va. ; the 
Maryland Historical Society ; the Nashville Chamber of 
Commerce ; the New- York State Agricultural Society ; 
General J. Watts De Peyster ; Rev. William B. Sprague, 
D.D. ; John E. Ward, Esq. ; Benjamin R. Winthrop, 
Esq. ; William Winthrop, Esq. ; C. C. Haven, Esq. ; 
S. E. Barstow, Esq. ; Hon. S. H. Walley ; George Gard- 
ner, Esq. ; Rev. J. A. Vinton ; Messrs. Bangs Brothers 
and Co. ; and S. S. and W. Wood ; also from Messrs. 
Bowditch, Hedge, Robbins, Savage, Sibley, and Wheat- 
land, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated a corre- 
spondence between himself and the Executive of Penn- 


sylvania ; also a letter of acceptance from Hon. Stephen 
Salisbury, of Worcester. 

The President announced the publication of a new 
volume of the Society's Collections; being vol. iv. of 
the Fourth Series. Whereupon, on motion of Mr. 
Adams, it was voted, — 

That the thanks of the Society be given to the Hon. 
Richard Frothingham, jun., and the gentlemen asso- 
ciated with him on the Publishing Committee, for their 
valuable and highly satisfactory services in the prepara- 
tion and publication of the volume which they have this 
day added to the Society's Collections. 

The President communicated a letter from Leverett 
Saltonstall, Esq., accompanying and presenting to the 
Society a highly finished portrait of his ancestor, Sir 
Richard Saltonstall, copied from an original by Rem- 
brandt, painted in 1644, — a gift of Charles San- 
ders, Esq. 

Mr. Saltonstall's letter was as follows : — 

Boston, April 7, 1858. 
To the Hon. R. C. Winthrop, 

President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

My dear Sir, — I have sent to the rooms of the Massachu- 
setts Historical Society, at the request of my uncle, Mr. 
Charles Sanders of Cambridge, a copy of the portrait of Sir 
Richard Saltonstall. 

The original portrait, painted by Rembrandt in the year 
1644 (Sir Richard being ambassador to Holland at the time), 
is a most admirable work of art. He was, as you are aware, 
the first-named associate of the six original patentees of Mas- 
sachusetts ; one of the first assistants ; and with Viscount Say 
and Seal, Lord Brooke, and others, was one of the patentees 


of Connecticut. In April, A.D. 1630, with your illustrious 
ancestor, Governor Winthrop, lie sailed in the u Arbella," from 
Yarmouth for Salem, where he arrived the 12th June of that 
year. There is every reason to believe, that though he re- 
mained on these shores not quite a year, yet, leaving his sons 
to help in the good work, he ever retained the strongest 
affection for the home of their adoption ; and, by his efficient 
superintendence of its interests in England, was of eminent 
service to the Colony. Dr. Bond, in his History of Water- 
town, after briefly reviewing his services, says, " A charac- 
ter in all points so exemplary, so good, and so great, so 
exempt from any seeming blemish or defect, it is not easy to 
find among the early worthies of New England ; and his ho- 
norable descent, and the superior social position so evidently 
conceded to him by the other adventurers, are feeble claims 
to our respect, compared with his eminent personal worth." 

Mr. Sanders told me that his great admiration for the pure, 
liberal, and high-toned character of Sir Richard Saltonstall, 
induced him to present his portrait to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. Hoping that I shall be understood as 
simply carrying out my uncle's request in this matter, 
I am, my dear sir, with sincere regard, 

Your very obedient servant, 

Leverett Saltonstall. 

Mr. Aspinwall, after a few remarks relating to the 
character and family of Sir Richard Saltonstall, offered 
the following vote, which was unanimously passed ; viz., 
Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented to 
Charles Sanders, Esq., for his valuable and beautiful 
contribution to its Gallery of Historical Paintings. 

Mr. Brigham, Chairman of the Standing Committee, 
presented the Annual Report of that Committee ; which 
was accepted. It was as follows ; viz. : — 


Report of tli e Standing Co mm ittee. 

The Standing Committee of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, in obedience to the requisitions of the By-laws, beg 
leave to make their Annual Report : — 

They are happy to report the continued prosperity and 
success of the Society during the past year ; a success that 
is made evident in the increased interest and generous con- 
tributions of its friends, in our larger and more interesting 
meetings, rather than in any marked event, such as dis- 
tinguished its history the preceding year. 

The Report of the Librarian will show the deep interest 
which the members and friends of the Society have felt in 
the library. More than one thousand valuable volumes and 
pamphlets have been added to it by contribution the last 
year. These have come, not only from members and friends- 
of the Society at home, but from foreign governments, as- 
sociations, and individuals abroad. There has been no year, 
since the formation of the Society, when so valuable con- 
tributions to the library have been made from so many 
different sources as during the past year. They evince a 
deep and wide interest in its prosperity ; and it is a source 
of sincere gratification, that so many persons and associations 
should have made our Society the depository of so many 
valuable books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and papers. We 
would express our gratitude to all such benefactors, and will 
assure them that the treasures so generously placed in our 
charge will be carefully and faithfully preserved. 

Our library, including the Dowse Library, now contains 
upwards of thirteen thousand bound volumes, twelve thou- 
sand pamphlets, and a great amount of valuable manuscripts, 
papers, and maps, — tending to illustrate our early his- 
tory, and the memorable actors in that history. The most 
valuable papers and manuscripts which have been added 


the last year are the papers of the late Dr. Belknap, and the 
diary of the late Dr. Pierce ; the receipt of the first of which 
was most gratefully acknowledged at the last stated meeting 
of our Society. The diary of Dr. Pierce comprises eighteen 
volumes, and is now placed in our library according to the 
provisions of his last will ; thereby showing his deep interest 
in the Society of which he was so useful a member, as well 
as his confidence in selecting it as the guardian of a treasure 
so dear to him, and which must eventually be of great public 

The Committee have made such examination of the library 
as they were able to do without the aid of a catalogue : and 
they are happy to report that it is in good order ; and, so far 
as they were able to ascertain, not a volume has been lost 
during the year. 

During the past two years, five portraits have been added 
to our collection, — one, of the late Samuel Appleton, pro- 
cured by the Society in grateful remembrance of him as one 
of our most generous benefactors ; another, of our ex-Presi- 
dent, whose presence here to-day prevents our saying one 
tithe of what we would gladly say of his valuable services to 
our Society, as well as to American history ; another, of our 
oldest resident and honored members ; and two others, of the 
early fathers of New England, — that of John Winthrop, jun., 
formerly Governor of Connecticut; and of Sir Richard Sal- 
tonstall. All of these, except the first named, were gifts to 
the Society ; and the generosity of the donors, as well as the 
value of the gifts, has been most gratefully acknowledged. 

A catalogue of the library, manuscripts, and maps, has 
been prepared by the Assistant Librarian, under direction of 
the Standing Committee ; and it is now nearly ready for the 
press. It will make a volume of about a thousand pages ; 
and, when completed, will be of great value. It is made thus 
large from the fact, that, in it, every book, pamphlet, manu- 
script, and map, in the library, are referred to. The entire 


cost of publication will be about twelve hundred dollars ; and 
the Committee will be glad to cause it to be printed as soon 
as the financial condition of the Society shall authorize it. 
They fully appreciate the importance of completing a work 
which is really so much needed, and without which the 
library loses half its value. 

The Society now own nearly five thousand volumes of 
their own publications. During the last year, they have sold 
several entire sets ; but the whole number of volumes thus 
disposed of is only two hundred and sixty-nine. It is de- 
sirable to dispose of many of the remaining volumes, both 
on account of the aid it would afford the Society, as well as 
to extend more widely the valuable information they contain. 
The Standing Committee recommend that a Special Com- 
mittee be chosen by the Society to devise some scheme 
for a more speedy sale of these volumes, and to report 

The Report of the Cabinet-Keeper will show, that, in that 
department, our friends have not been wanting. Valuable 
additions have been made to it. The Committee, however, 
cannot but regret that the treasures of our cabinet are not 
better arranged, and made more accessible ; so that our mem- 
bers, at least, may know what we possess. At present, the 
most valuable part of our cabinet is kept out of sight ; and 
but a few of our members know any thing of its real value 
and importance. It may be generally known, that among 
our valuable curiosities may be found the swords of Standish 
and Brewster, the coat of Dr. Franklin, and the epaulets of 
Washington ; yet a thousand other objects of great interest 
are never heard of, because there is no opportunity of dis- 
playing them. 

This state of things should not continue. Our indefatiga- 
ble Cabinet-Keeper does all he can ; and it would seem that 
he can hardly do better, at present, than to keep the cabinet 
safely locked up. 


The Committee hope that the time is not far distant when 
the Society will be able to fit our upper room in this building 
in a suitable manner for a portrait-gallery and for the cabinet. 
It is large enough for both, and will probably be large 
enough to accommodate all accessions for many years. 
Here the cabinet could be so arranged in glass cases as 
to be not only perfectly safe, but visible to every one ; and, 
when once done, our institution would seem to be almost 
complete in its arrangements. 

This subject has long engaged the attention of the Com- 
mittee ; and they now recommend that a Special Committee 
be appointed to act and advise with the Cabinet-Keeper as to 
an arrangement of the cabinet, and to report such plans of 
improvement as they shall deem expedient, and to make an 
estimate of the expense thereof. 

The fourth volume of the Fourth Series of our publications 
has just been published ; and much credit is due to the Pub- 
lishing Committee for the faithful manner in which their work 
has been performed. According to our By-laws, a new Com- 
mittee must be now appointed to prepare and publish another 
volume. This is well ; but it has occurred to the Standing 
Committee, and the wish has often been expressed by mem- 
bers, that measures should be adopted to print and publish 
the Proceedings of our meetings, or such parts of them as 
would be of permanent interest. The Committee are not 
prepared to present any plan for this purpose ; but they 
suggest it as a matter deserving the consideration of the 
Society, and as a means of giving new interest to our meetings. 

The Committee, on the termination of their labors, con- 
gratulate the Society on its present prosperity and its future 
prospects ; and they only regret that they have not been able 
to serve the Society more effectually and profitably. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 
For the Committee. 

William Brigham, Chairman. 


The Annual Eeports of the Librarian and Cabinet- 
Keeper were read and accepted, as follows : — 

Annual Report of the Librarian. 

In complying with the regulation which requires him " to 
present, at the annual meeting, a statement of the condition 
and wants of the library, with a notice of the important 
accessions that have been made to it during the year/' the 
Librarian feels that there is good cause for him to congratu- 
late the Society on the present condition of the library, on 
the large accessions which have recently been made to it, and 
on the fact, that while it still has wants, — as every institu- 
tion of the kind must ever have, — yet many of these have 
been met, during the past year, by donations of rare and 
precious value. 

The Society has now in its rooms about thirteen thousand 
bound volumes. Eight thousand of these are the slow accu- 
mulation of more than sixty years, and constitute the Society's 
library proper. Five thousand compose the Dowse Library, 
the noble gift of that extraordinary man — Thomas Dowse — 
to this Society, among whose members, and within whose 
walls, his name and memory can never cease to be ho- 

In addition to these bound volumes, there are about 
twelve thousand pamphlets, so arranged in cases as to be 
easily accessible. The library has been more largely used 
during the past than in any former year. This use has con- 
sisted chiefly in the visits of members of the Society, or of 
others introduced by them according to the Rules, to read, 
examine, and consult books in the rooms, without taking them 
from the library. The agreeable aspect and accommodations 
of the Society's rooms will probably lead to a constant 
increase of this mode of using the library; although the 
record shows, that, during the past year, a much larger 


number of volumes than usual have been taken out. All 
that have been taken out have been returned, and in good 
order: no book has received any injury that has been 
noticed, and no book has been lost. One volume, " Velancey 
on the Primitive Inhabitants of Great Brittain," that had 
been missing more than twenty years (since December, 1835), 
has been recovered. 

There are two books missing, which it is very desirable 
should be recovered ; viz., Young's " Chronicles of the Pil- 
grims," and Sargent's " History of Braddock's Expedition." 
They have been missing since 1856. In that year, our books 
were removed from the room now occupied by the Dowse 
Library, to be re-arranged on the new shelves in the middle 
room ; and, for some months, our library and rooms were in 
a confused state. It may be, that, at that time, these books 
were taken out by some member, or members; and, owing 
to the confusion alluded to above, no record was made ; and 
consequently the fact has passed from the minds of the 
members and of the Assistant Librarian. The loss is men- 
tioned here, and in connection with the removal of our 
books, that gentlemen may be led to challenge their memo- 
ries, and examine their shelves and bookcases ; so that, 
peradventure, these volumes, ignorantly retained, may be 
joyfully restored to us. 

The accessions to the library the past year have been 
unusually large and valuable. There have been received 
four hundred and sixty-nine printed volumes ; twenty-nine 
manuscript volumes, including the diary of the Rev. John 
Pierce, D.D., in eighteen volumes ; four smaller manuscripts ; 
nine bound volumes of newspapers ; three volumes unbound ; 
five hundred and sixteen pamphlets ; seven maps ; and 
last, but not least, the books, papers, and various manu- 
scripts, of the late Rev. Jeremy Belknap, D.D., who, more 
distinctly than any other person, is entitled to the honor 
of being styled the Founder of the Massachusetts His- 


torical Society. The various items of donations to the 
library for the past year, counting volumes, pamphlets, 
manuscripts, &c, amount, in all, to more than a thousand, — ■ 
probably about twelve hundred. They have been received 
from one hundred and four different sources. The individual 
contributors are eighty-three ; civic governments, literary 
societies, and other associations, twenty-one. Of the indi- 
vidual contributors, twenty-one are Resident or Honorary 
Members of our Society. Of the bound volumes and manu- 
scripts received during the year, a very considerable portion 
are of such value, that they might properly come within the 
rule which requires the Librarian " to notice the important 
accessions." A strict conformity to this rule, in this instance, 
would swell this Report to an undue length. Only the most 
important can be briefly noticed. 

Among the manuscripts received, attention may be directed, 
first, to nine volumes of Spanish manuscripts, presented by 
W. H. Whitmore, Esq. All of these, judging from their titles, 
seem to be curious and interesting ; and some of them — 
viz., " The Rebellion in Grenada in 1578 ; " " The Treaties of 
Peace made during the Reign of Carlos II.," bearing date 
1665; "A New System of Government for America, by 
Don Campellio y Corrio," without date — have probably 
considerable value as historical documents. Two other 
manuscripts may be mentioned, recently received from William 
Winthrop, Esq., United-States Consul at Malta : the one, 
" Drawings of the Arms, or Escutcheons, of the Knights of 
Malta ; " the other, " Plans of all the Forts and Harbors 
of the Mediterranean." These manuscripts are without date. 
The latter is unquestionably very ancient, and is beautifully 

The memoirs, or diary, of Rev. Dr. Pierce, eighteen volumes 
manuscript, were presented by him to the Society in his will. 
At the request of the widow, they have remained in her 
possession. Upon her death, a few weeks ago, the executor, 


Mr. Charles Stoddard, sent them to the library. They are 
now in the hands of a Special Committee to consider under 
what restrictions and regulations they must be placed, that 
no improper and unwise use be made of their contents. 
With the exception, perhaps, of some of the earlier portions, 
the value of these manuscripts is prospective, rather than 
immediate ; but, from what we know of the character of 
Dr. Pierce, — 'from his large sympathies, which brought him 
into constant and friendly intercourse with persons of all 
political and religious parties ; his minuteness and accuracy 
in collecting facts and details ; his intimate connection with 
the principal men and events of this community for more 
than fifty years, — there can be no doubt, that, to the future 
historian and biographer, these volumes will be a mine of 
much curious, authentic, and valuable information. A file 
of documents recently received from George Gardner, Esq., 
relating to the early history of the Boston Town House, may 
also be mentioned as an interesting addition to our manu- 
script Collections. 

Last in the order received, but first in importance and 
interest to the Society, are the various papers and manu- 
scripts of Dr. Belknap. Among these are, first, A large 
number of sermons ; covering, probably, a considerable 
portion, if not the whole period, of his ministry. These 
are of little historical value ; but, from their association with 
their author, they will be regarded with interest, and care- 
fully preserved by this Society. 

Second, Letters received in the correspondence which he 
had with many distinguished persons in New England, while 
collecting materials for his " History of New Hampshire." 
These letters are carefully preserved and indexed by himself. 
Many of them are interesting and valuable, and have never 
been published. 

Third, Materials collected for a complete American Biog- 
raphy. Dr. Belknap died while the second volume of his 


" American Biography " was passing through the press. In 
the brief but admirable notice of him prefixed to that vo- 
lume, the writer — probably the late Judge Davis — speaks 
of Dr. Belknap's plan for compiling and publishing a com- 
plete " American Biography," and of the valuable materials 
which he had collected and partially arranged for that 
purpose ; some of which, he says, " are in such a state of 
preparation, that they might be readily fitted for the press, 
if the public opinion should countenance the publication, and 
the tenderness of his friends to his literary reputation should 
suffer them to present to the world any unfinished production 
bearing his name." These materials — probably the whole 
of them — are among the manuscripts which have now come 
into the possession of this Society. 

Fourth, A manuscript volume, lettered on the back, " Har- 
vard College ; " indicating that Dr. Belknap contemplated a 
work on the graduates of that university, and had made 
considerable progress in preparing it. 

Fifth, Various curious and valuable manuscripts ; such as, 
diaries of Increase and Cotton Mather; of Laurence Ham- 
mond, of Charlestown; historical memoranda of the Rev. 
Jabez Fitch, of Portsmouth; of Hugh Adams, of Dover; 
letters from Dr. Watts to Dr. Coleman ; a letter-book of 
Edmund Quincy, the father of Mrs. Hancock, containing 
letters written on political subjects during the Revolutionary 
war; with a large number of miscellaneous letters, covering 
a long period of time. With these manuscripts are also 
quite a number of books and pamphlets relating to our 
history, many of which are very rare, and which were 
wanting in the Society's library. The whole of this Belknap 
donation is now in the hands of a Committee, to be arranged 
and put in complete order for preservation, and for consulta- 
tion by members of the Society and historical students. It 
is a matter of deep and gratifying interest, that thus, after a 
period of sixty years, the image of one of the most promi- 


nent and honored on the list of our founders should be 
brought distinctly before us, and this Society made the 
depository of his valuable books and papers. An appropriate 
vote of thanks to the donor, for this precious addition to our 
literary treasures, has already been passed ; but the Librarian 
feels that he should be neglecting a grateful duty, did he 
omit to allude to the obligations we are under to our dis- 
tinguished associate, Mr. George Ticknor, for his interest, 
influence, and services, as the medium of communication 
through whom this large and valuable donation was made. 

Passing from the manuscripts received to the important 
donations in books, we may notice, first, twenty-three volumes 
of Dodsley's " Annual Register," presented by our associate, 
Hon. C. H. Warren. These volumes are consecutive, giving 
us a complete set of the work, from the first to the twenty- 
third, with the exception of one volume, — the sixteenth; 
and covering the period from 1758 to 1780, with the excep- 
tion of the year 1773, — the period embraced by the sixteenth 
volume. [Mr. Warren here interrupted the Librarian, to say 
that he had recently obtained in New York a copy of the 
sixteenth volume, which, in a few days, he should present to 
the library.] 

We may notice, second, Seven volumes received from the 
New-York Historical Society, — four volumes of their Col- 
lections, Second Series; and three volumes of the Proceedings 
of the Society from 1843 to 1847. 

Third, Thirty-nine volumes from the Society of Antiqua- 
rians, London. Most of these volumes are "the Archseologia" 
of the Society, containing interesting and important tracts 
relating to antiquities. Several of them are splendid volumes 
of historical prints, containing plans, elevations, sections, &c, 
of various cathedrals, churches, &c, in England ; one volume, 
with seventeen plates of the tapestry of Bayeux ; and 
another, with historical prints of the times of Henry VIII. 
and Edward YI. 


Fourth, Forty-two volumes of the Publications of the 
Eecord Commission of the Government of Great Britain, 
received through Mr. Henry Stephens. This is a very 
valuable donation, though not a complete set of the publica- 
tions of that commission. The volumes received are full on 
the "Documentary History of Scotland/' and the " Ancient 
Laws of England and Wales." 

Fifth, Thirty volumes from the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin. These volumes contain various legislative and 
other important documents in relation to the history of that 
young State. 

Sixth, Guizot's works, seventeen volumes ; very fine Paris 
edition, presented by the author, one of our most dis- 
tinguished Honorary Members. The volumes include all 
his works up to 1856. 

Seventh, Thirty-three volumes received from T. B. Aikins, 
Record Commissioner of Nova Scotia, — containing the Jour- 
nals of Proceedings, Records, &c, of the Provincial Parlia- 
ment of Nova Scotia, and various important documents 
illustrative of the history of that Province. 

Eighth, Twenty-six volumes recently received from Wil- 
liam Winthrop, Esq., United-States Consul at Malta. Among 
these may be mentioned a curious copy of Livy, in Spanish, 
printed in 1520 at Madrid ; six volumes of old historical 
tracts, some of which are curious and interesting ; Bomord's 
" History of England," in folio ; Camden's " Remains," printed 
in 1622; and a fine copy of " Ortelius Theatrum Orbis 

Ninth, Eighteen volumes of the Records of Pennsylvania. 
These were presented, through our Corresponding Secretary, 
by the Executive of that State ; and, from their relation to 
its early colonial history, will be justly appreciated as a 
valuable addition to our library. 

Tenth, Ten volumes, presented by S. F. Barstow, Esq., 
through our associate, Hon. C. H. Warren. Among these 


may be noticed eight volumes, containing the " Gallery of 
British Portraits of the Reigns of James I. and Charles I. ; " 
"History of the Life of the Duke of Espernon;" Drum- 
mond's " Travels ; " Arnot's " Criminal Trials ; " " History of 
the Troubles of Suethland ; » " Life of St. Patrick ; » " Life 
of Edward, the Black Prince ; " Howitt's " Life of Louis XIII. ; » 
Howell's " Survey of Venice ; " and the works of Sir Wil- 
liam Davenant. 

Lastly, We may notice a hundred and thirty-one volumes, 
besides an indefinite number of pamphlets, presented by the 
honored President of our Society, Mr. Winthrop: viz., forty- 
one volumes, " Congressional Globe ; " forty-two volumes, the 
" Annals of Congress;" twenty-seven volumes, Gales and 
Seaton's " Register of Congressional Debates ; " and twenty- 
one volumes, "American State Papers." The character of 
these works is too well known, and their value and impor- 
tance as additions to our library are too obvious, to need 
comment ; but the Librarian cannot forbear to allude to the 
obligations the Society is under to its honored President, as 
for all his interest and services to promote its prosperity and 
usefulness, so especially for his large and constant contri- 
butions to the library, and for the excellent example which 
he sets his associates in this particular. Were a like interest 
felt and like contributions made by each of us according to 
his ability, many things that are now wanting on our shelves 
would soon find a place there. We are yet without copies 
of some works, of which members of this Society are the 
authors, and which have been published within the year. 
It is to be hoped that they will soon be placed upon our 

This matter of shelves, however, is one that will speedily 
demand the attention of the Society, or its Standing Com- 
mittee. We want more room, especially for folios. We 
want more room generally for books ; and, at the rate at 
which the library has increased the last two years, some 


larger accommodation must soon be provided. As the cata- 
logue — upon which subject the Standing Committee have 
already reported — is not yet published, it maybe interesting 
and of service to state here the order in which the books 
of the Society's library are now arranged on the shelves 
in the middle room. Beginning at the left hand on enter- 
ing the door from the ante-room, members will find, first, 
works on law, jurisprudence, legal trials, &c, occupying 
one compartment. Next come all theological and religious 
works, sermons, &c, filling two compartments. In the next 
three compartments, — the fourth, fifth, and sixth, — our 
various series of periodical publications and similar books 
are arranged. Among these, the volumes of "American State 
Papers," "Congressional Debates," <fcc, — the donation, al- 
ready noticed, of Mr. Winthrop, — are at present placed. 
Then come, first, biographical and genealogical works ; 
second, catalogues, and books on bibliography; third, scien- 
tific works ; fourth, geographical works ; fifth, books of voy- 
ages and travels ; sixth, local and town histories ; seventh, 
Massachusetts histories, — occupying one compartment each. 
In the next four compartments — the fourteenth, fifteenth, 
sixteenth, and seventeenth — are arranged all histories of 
New England, and of other States of the Union ; in the 
eighteenth, all historical works on other portions of America 
than the United States ; in the nineteenth and twentieth, 
works on European and general history ; and the twenty- 
first — the last compartment, on the right hand of the door 
on entering — is filled with miscellaneous books, not be- 
longing properly to either of the above divisions. All our 
present shelf-room is crowded, and more provision must soon 
be made. 

The Librarian would also call the attention of the Standing 
Committee to the fact, that we have now a considerable num- 
ber of small but very valuable manuscripts, that should either 
be bound, or placed in cases prepared for them. Some ar- 


rangement should be made for their better preservation, and 
for their more commodious use by members of the Society. 

In regard to the Dowse Library, the Librarian has to re- 
port, that the rules regulating its use have been faithfully 
observed. The Dowse Library has attracted large numbers 
of visitors during the year, and beguiled many of our mem- 
bers to long hours of pleasant and profitable reading in its 
beautiful and attractive apartments. The books remain, at 
present, as they were placed, somewhat hurriedly and 
without any definite plan of arrangement, when first re- 
moved to this hall. The works are so various and mis- 
cellaneous in their character, that it is difficult to adopt, and 
carry out rigidly, any one principle of classification. The 
Committee associated with the Librarian for this purpose 
propose to arrange the library under seven general divisions. 
Beginning at the corner of the room on the right hand of the 
door of entrance, the first division will contain the works on 
American history, biography, literature, &c. ; the second, the 
scientific, philosophical, and theological books ; the third, 
English history, biography, and general literature ; the fourth, 
English poetry, and dramatic literature ; the fifth, translations 
of the ancient classics, and books relating to European conti- 
nental literature ; the sixth, general history, and miscellaneous 
works ; the seventh, works on bibliography, and the history 
of literature. The busts will then be placed to correspond 
to this arrangement. The bust of Washington, for instance, 
will be placed as the presiding genius over the first division, 
— American history and biography ; that of Franklin over 
the second, — scientific and philosophical works, &c. There 
are twenty-six compartments in the bookcases. These will 
be numbered, or marked by the letters of the alphabet. A 
sheet catalogue for each compartment will be made out, and 
placed in the drawer of each ; by consulting which, any book 
can be easily found. The Committee hope to have this 
arrangement completed in the course of the next two months. 



This being done, the Dowse Library can be considered as 
thoroughly in order; long to continue a monument to his 
fame, and an incentive to our labors. 

Eespectfully submitted. 

S. K. Lothrop, 


Report of the Cabinet-Keeper. 

In compliance with the second section of the ninth chap- 
ter of the By-laws of the Society, the undersigned, as Cabinet- 
Keeper, presents the following Report of the condition of the 
museum under his charge : — 

The articles appertaining to the museum of the Society 
consist of a cabinet of coins, medals, and other small articles, 
valuable for their historic relations ; of a large collection of 
curiosities, illustrative of the habits and customs of the peo- 
ple of various foreign countries, and especially of the Ameri- 
can aborigines ; and also of many portraits of distinguished 
persons, and works of art. 

The condition of the cabinet, and of the other parts of the 
museum, is not what it should be, owing to the want of pro- 
per accommodations, and of suitable cases for displaying the 
several articles. It is hoped, however, that the finances of 
the Society will soon warrant an expenditure of money 
adequate to the demands of the department, and that the 
attention of the Society will be early directed to its urgent 

When suitable arrangements have been made for the dis- 
play of articles of antiquarian and historical value, it is be- 
lieved that large accessions will be made to the department, 
and that its objects of curiosity will form prominent matters 
of interest to persons visiting the Society's rooms. 
Respectfully submitted, 

Nathl. B. Shurtleff, Cabinet-Keeper. 
Boston, 8 April, 1858. 


The President nominated, as a new Publishing Com- 
mittee, Messrs. Warren, Bowditch, Clifford, and Davis. 

Mr. Bowditch, from the Committee on the Treasurer's 
accounts, presented a Report, giving a general statement 
of the receipts and disbursements of the past year, and 
of the present state of the finances of the Society; 
which was accepted. 

Mr. Lincoln, from the Committee appointed to nomi- 
nate candidates for the several offices of the Society, 
reported the following list ; and the persons therein 
named were elected ; viz. : — 



JARED SPARKS, LL.D Cambridge. 

Hon. DAVID SEARS, A.M Boston. 

Recording Secretary. 

Corresponding Secretary. 

Hon. RICHARD FROTHINGHAM, Jun., A.M Charlestown. 

Rev. SAMUEL K. LOTHROP, D.D Boston. 


Standing Committee. 



Hon. EMORY WASHBURN, LL.D Cambridge. 

Hon. LORENZO SABINE, A.M Roxbury. 

CHARLES DEANE, A.M. i . i . . . . . Cambridge. 


The President, in a few appropriate remarks, alluded 
to the decease of two of the Corresponding Members of 
the Society, — Lord Braybrooke, D.C.L ; and Rev. 
Philip Bliss, LL.D. 

Hon. Luther V. Bell, M.D., and Eev. William S. 
Bartlet, were elected Resident Members, and Count 
Jules de Menou an Honorary Member, of the Society. 

Mr. Willard, from the Committee to whom was 
referred a manuscript, entitled " Some Account of the 
Dudleys of Massachusetts, by George Adlard, in which 
Cotton Mather's more Particular Account of Governor 
Dudley is brought to Light," made a written Report as 
follows : — 

They have examined this "more particular account" of 
Governor Dudley, and have compared the manuscript with the 
printed life in the " Magnalia ; " and are of the opinion, that it 
is the more particular account there referred to. Its style is 
that of Mather ; and there are many parallel passages, show- 
ing a common origin and authorship in the two accounts. 
The manuscript is much more extended than the print, and 
contains sundry additional particulars and incidents touching 
Dudley's early training and subsequent career. 

Mr. Adlard has added some interesting remarks upon the 
ancestry of the Dudleys, with copies of four Dudley wills of 
the sixteenth century (two of them from the Registry of the 
Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and two from the Registry 
of the Commissary Court of London), in proof of the ances- 
try of the Massachusetts Dudleys. 

Your Committee further are of the opinion, that this 
" more particular account " of Governor Dudley, with the 
accompanying papers, is deserving of publication in the Soci- 
ety's Collections ; provided that the original manuscript can 


be obtained, which Mr. J. Wingate Thornton " discovered 
among some Dudley papers/' and at one time had in his pos- 
session. We have applied to Mr. Thornton for this manu- 
script. He says, in answer, that he has " searched repeatedly 
but unsuccessfully for it ; " but that there is another copy in 
the possession of Mr. Dean Dudley, with which Mr. Adlard's 
copy can be collated, and that he (Mr. T.) will cheerfully 
make the collation. Mr. Adlard thinks that the Society may 
fully rely upon his copy. In reply, the Committee have 
written to this gentleman, as follows ; viz., " The Society is 
always desirous to collate with and print from the original 
manuscripts, whenever possible, because it assumes a respon- 
sibility for the authentic character of the materials, and the 
accuracy of the transcripts. We cannot but hope and believe 
that the original will yet be found. With this view, and with 
your permission, we will retain your manuscript for the pre- 
sent, subject to your order ; trusting that we may yet be able 
to print your entire contribution," &c. To this letter of 
March 24th last no answer has been received. 

Your Committee are not entirely satisfied of the strict 
verbal accuracy of the copy furnished by Mr. Adlard ; and 
would not recommend a publication of his manuscript, unless 
an opportunity can be had of instituting a comparison with 
the original " more particular account." If this " account " 
should be placed in the possession of the Society, and be 
proved — as they have reason to suppose it would be — the 
veritable account written by Mather, they would recommend 
the publication. Meanwhile, they place Mr. Adlard's copies 
in the possession of the Society, subject to Mr. Adlard's 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

For the Committee, 

Joseph Willard. 



The Society held a special meeting this evening, 
April 19, at the house of the Hon. Josiah Quincy, 
No. 5, Park Street, Boston. The meeting was called 
to order at eight o'clock by the President, Hon. Robert 
C. Winthrop, who remarked, that the Society had been 
kindly invited by our venerable senior member to meet 
on the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington ; and that 
it had occurred to him to inquire, as not inappropriate 
to the occasion, how soon, and under what circumstances, 
the tidings of that event reached England. He then 
proceeded as follows : — 

In a "Memoir of Elias Hasket Derby," by his grandson, 
recently presented to our library, we are reminded, that, " by 
a remarkable concurrence of events, and by the uncommon 
speed of two ships owned by his father and brother, Captain 
Richard Derby carried to England the first news of the 
battle of Lexington ; returned to Salem with the first intelli- 
gence of the effect it produced in London, which he laid 
before General Washington at Cambridge ; and, at the close 
of the war, brought to America from France the first news 
of peace." — P. 28. 

In Force's " Archives " (vol. ii. p. 747), under date April 27, 
1775, we find the following resolution of the Massachusetts 
Committee of Safety : — 

"Resolved, That Captain Derby be directed, and he hereby is 
directed, to make for Dublin, or any good port in Ireland ; and from 
thence to cross to Scotland or England, and hasten to London. This 
direction is, that so he may escape all cruisers that may be in the 


chops of the Channel to stop the communicating of the provincial 
intelligence to the agent. He will deliver his papers to the agent on 
reaching London. 

"J. Warren, Chairman. 

" P.S. — You are to keep this order a profound secret from every 
person on earth." — Frothingham 's History, p. 85, note. 

In the same volume, p. 848, is the following : — 

" Secretary of State's Office, Whitehall, May 30, 1775. 

" A report having been spread, and an account having been printed 
and published, of a skirmish between some of the people in the Pro- 
vince of Massachusetts Bay and a detachment of his majesty's troops, 
it is proper to inform the public, that no advices have as yet been 
received, in the American department, of any such event. 

" There is reason to believe that there are despatches from General 
Gage on board the ' Sukey,' Captain Brown ; which, though she sailed 
four days before the vessel that brought the printed accounts, is not 
yet arrived." 

It thus appears, that Captain Derby, sailing four days after 
the government messenger, had arrived before him ; viz., 
before the 30th of May ; and that the ministry had attempted 
to discredit the accounts which he brought. 

This attempt was at once counteracted by our agent at 
London in the following notice, dated the same day : — 

"London, Tuesday, May 30, 1775. 

" As a doubt of the authenticity of the account from Salem, touch- 
ing an engagement between the king's troops and the provincials in 
the Massachusetts Bay, may arise from a paragraph in the ' Gazette ' 
of this evening, I desire to inform all those who wish to see the original 
affidavits which confirm that account, that they are deposited at the 
Mansion House, with the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor, for their 

"Arthur Lee, 
" Agent for the Ho. of Reps, of the Mass. Bay." 

The authentic despatches were not delivered in London to 
Lord Dartmouth till the 10th June, when Lieutenant Nurm, 


of the navy, arrived with them; and they were published 
from Whitehall the same day. — Force, vol. ii. p. 945. 

In the mean time, the previous accounts by Captain Derby 
had been so far credited, that a special meeting of several 
members of the Constitutional Society was held at the 
King's-Arms Tavern, Cornhill, London, June 7, 1775 ; and a 
subscription of a hundred pounds voted "to be applied to 
the relief of the widows, orphans, and aged parents of our 
beloved American fellow-subjects, who, faithful to the cha- 
racter of Englishmen, preferring death to slavery, were, for 
that reason only, inhumanly murdered by the king's troops, at 
or near Lexington and Concord, in the Province of Massachu- 
setts Bay, on the 19th of last April." 

" Which sum, being immediately collected," was ordered 
to be sent to Dr. Franklin. 

In illustration of the effect produced in England by the 
affair of Lexington, we may take the following extract from 
a letter of Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, dated Straw- 
berry Hill, June 5, 1775 : — 

" You must lower your royal crest a little ; for your majesty's forces 
have received a check in America. But this is too sad a subject for 
mirth. I cannot tell you any thing very positively : the ministers, — 
nay, the orthodox ' Gazette ' holds its tongue. This day sennight, it 
was divulged by a ' London Evening-Post ' extraordinary, that a ship, 
on its way to Lisbon, happened to call at England, and left some very 
wonderful accounts, — nay, and affidavits, — saying, to wit, that Gene- 
ral Gage had sent nine hundred men to nail up the cannon, and seize 
a magazine, at Concord ; of which, the accidental captain owns, two 
cannon were spiked or damaged. An hundred and fifty Americans, 
who swear they were fired on first, disliked the proceeding, returned 
blows, and drove back the party. Lord Percy was despatched to 
support them : but, new recruits arriving, his lordship sent for better 
advice, which he received ; and it was to retire, which he did. The 
king's troops lost an hundred and fifty ; the enemy, not an hundred. 
The captain was sent for to be examined, but refused. He says Gage 
sent away a sloop four days before he sailed : which sloop, I suppose, 


is gone to Lisbon ; for, in eight days, we have no news of it. The 
public were desired by authority to suspend their belief: but their 
patience is out ; and they persist in believing the first account, which 
seems the rather probable, in that another account is come of the mob 
having risen at New York, between anger and triumph, and have 
seized, unloaded, and destroyed the cargoes of two ships that were 
going with supplies to Gage ; and, by all accounts, that whole conti- 
nent is in a flame. 

" So here is this fatal war commenced ! — 

" ' The child that is unborn shall rue 
The hunting of that day.' " 

This letter fixes the date of the first publication of Captain 
Derby's news. " This day sennight," from June 5, would 
have been May 29. The subsequent phrase, " eight days/' in 
Walpole's letter, implies that the arrival was on the 28th 
May ; and we have seen Captain Derby receiving instructions 
from the Committee of Safety on the 27th of April. The 
passage must have been less than a month, — a very short 
for one those days. 

The expressions of sorrow and foreboding in Walpole's 
letter remind us of the fact which the poet Rogers used to 
tell all his American friends. He remembered, that, when the 
news of the first blood shed at Concord and Lexington 
reached London, his own father put on a black suit from that 
day, and continued to wear it till his death. 

There is a characteristic letter from Dr. Franklin to Ed- 
mund Burke in this connection : — 

" Philadelphia, May 15, 1775. 

" Dear Sir, — You will see by the papers that General Gage 
called his assembly to propose Lord North's pacific plan ; but, before 
they could meet, drew the sword, and began the war. His troops 
made a most vigorous retreat, — twenty miles in three hours, — scarce 
to be paralleled in history. The feeble Americans, who pelted them 
all the way, could scarce keep up with them. 

" All people here feel themselves much obliged by your endeavors 
to serve them. I hear your proposed resolves were negatived by a 



great majority ; which was denying the most notorious truths, and 
a kind of national lying, of which they may be convicted by their own 

" The Congress is met here pretty full. I had not been here a day 
before I was returned a member. We dined together on Saturday, 
when your health was among the foremost. 

" With the sincerest esteem, I am ever, dear sir, your most obedient, 
humble servant, 

"B. Franklin." 

Mr. Sibley exhibited to the meeting a file of original 
documents, belonging to the library of Harvard College, 
relating to the battle of Lexington. Amongst them 
were the depositions of the inhabitants of Lexington 
and vicinity, who were eye-witnesses of the engage- 
ment and of the conduct of the British troops on their 
march, given under oath before William Reed, Jonah 
Johnson, Jonathan Hastings, John Cumming, William 
Stickney, and Duncan Ingraham, Justices of the Peace 
for the county of Middlesex, whose authority as justices, 
and respectability as men, are certified at Charlestown 
by Nathaniel Gorham, Notary Public. 

The file also contained letters from Joseph Warren, 
— one dated Cambridge, April 27, 1775; the other, 
May 16, 1775. 

Mr. Deajne produced the following letters, copied 
from the Letter-book of Edmund Quincy, the father-in- 
law of John Hancock. The Letter-book belongs to the 
Belknap collection of papers, which has recently come 
into the possession of the Society. 


Letter from Edmund Quincy to John Hancock. 

Lancaster, March 25, 1776. 
To the Hon. J. Hancock, Esq. 

Dear Sir, — Your peculiar favor of the 10th current, per 
Mr. Avery, came safe to hand; and I am obliged with the 
same. By it I am pleased to find my last of Feb. 8 was got 
safe, containing the paper I had supposed was in your hands 
some months before ; and that your health permitted your so 
close attention. I hope my last, of 18th current, will arrive 
the ensuing week, having therein advised you of the cowardly 
evacuation of the fortress of Boston ; and of the king's ships 
hurrying out of the harbor; and of the operation of our 
D[orchester]-Hill formidable batteries to the enemy's con- 
sternation, erected principally in one night by the well-timed 
assistance of four hundred carts and wagons of timber fixed 
for the purpose, and other materials of defence, by which 
intrenchments were effected sufficient to stand every sup- 
posable kind of attack or opposition of the enemy ; whose 
numbers, as we now learn, were — effective and non-effective 
men — no fewer than seven thousand five hundred. It also 
appears that the Tory gang had, for a month before, such 
warning, that they had hired several vessels for their own 
safety, which lay ready, under pay, to take them, bag and 
baggage, and make their exit with the fleet upon the earliest 
notice of a necessity of evacuating the town ; which General 
Howe, with his Council, determined upon, after an application 
to Gr[eneral] Washington for five days' cessation of arms, at 
the end whereof G[eneral] Howe promised to leave the town. 
To which G-[eneral] Washington] politically answered in the 
negative, and added that he would sooner run the risk of 
sacrificing fifty thousand men in storming the fortress, &c. 
Howe was all the time making preparation to be gone, which 
they say was much accelerated by an accidental fire among 
several of Prospect-Hill barracks some nights before, which 


Howe supposed was an alarm to the inhabitants to come in 
next day in order to accomplish G[eneral] Washington] 's 
menace before mentioned. It is certain he was under great 
surprise, upon the whole ; for it is confidently reported, he, 
staying among the latest embarkations, rode the last day, 
with apparent haste, down to the wharf where the boat lay 
for him ; in which he made so much haste to get, that he fell 
into it, as was observed by curious people near: whether 
hurt or no, we have not heard. Another mark of precipita- 
tion is, that the ships went down without taking on board 
their water, — at most, not a quantum sufficit, — and have 
been observed watering, some days since their departure. 

26th. We are advised this day, that the ships were yester- 
day below, and supposed by some to be waiting the arrival 
of an expected fleet from G[reat] B[ritain], and with them 
to proceed to the southward. Others suppose they have, in 
such case, a further design upon Boston : but this seems very 
improbable ; for they must be convinced, by what they have 
seen and heard, that there, our fortifications, put into a good 
posture of defence, — together with the batteries erected and 
erecting on Dforchester] Hills, and other eminences without 
the town, on Fort Hill and at Castle William, as I am told, — 
can afford them but little encouragement to retake a fortress, 
which they have so lately judged untenable against the force 
they may now suppose to be in possession, and which may 
be not only augmented as G[eneral] Washington] sees fit, 
but also as well supported in all respects as may be needful. 
No : I think their views cannot be against Boston, and there- 
fore imagine New York may be their chief object. However, 
it is probable they may divide their force of ships and troops 
among several of the more Southern Colonies, where Dr. Y.* 
informs me they are making, and have already made, such 
preparations as to give them a smart drubbing, come when 

* Probably Dr. Thomas Young. — See Works of John Adams, vol. ix. pp. 617, 623. 


they will ; and I hope they may be treated as they deserve. 
I am fully of opinion, administration is already very heartily 
sick of their scheme of subjugation, and of their principal 
advisers from hence ; and doubt not but both Bernard and 
Hutchinson in particular have lately undergone such profuse 
sweatings at court as more than preponderate all their profits 
and honors : and they must expect a repetition of them, if 
nothing worse, should the Continental force this year dis- 
courage all further proceeding against the A[merican] Co- 
lonies, and render the British hopes, as to the same, desperate, 
— not only of a subduction, but likewise of every kind of 
governmental control. And truly I think that the member 
of the House of Commons, who, in a ludicrous manner, in- 
quired at " what time the Americans were emancipated," 
might have saved himself the trouble by looking into Sir 
William Blackstone's Commentaries, vol. i. p. 233, upon the 
duties of kings ; where he would have found it to be a maxim 
of common law, that, when protection ceaseth, allegiance 
ceaseth to be the duty of the subject. Now, it being evident 
that the British king had, at the time of inquiry, not only with- 
drawn his protection from these Colonies, — which, truly, was 
only negative, — but that he had positively commenced hos- 
tilities, of which there can be no dubious construction. 
Hostilities were not only commenced, but violently and un- 
mercifully prosecuted, maugre our most devout supplication ; 
to which we have had the mortification of repeated refusal, 
with contempt and abuse. And, as this is the case, the 
querist might have known, without going off his seat, the 
time of emancipation was then arrived ; and every step since 
taken by the British administration are so many repeated 
corroborations of the subject's present and future right, or 
Lord Coke, as well as Sir William, have been grossly mistaken 
in a fundamental article of the British Constitution. Probably 
the warm member above referred to — for I now forget his 
name — might, if present, tell us that the relation between 


the king and his Colonies was very different from that be- 
tween the government of Great Britain and the British sub- 
jects, as the latter were by compact entitled to the franchises 
of Englishmen, and therefore had a right to insist on protec- 
tion, and to make it the condition sine qua, non of their alle- 
giance ; but that the Colonies were at the king's disposal, and 
that he, with his omnipotent Parliament, had always, now 
have, and ever ought to have, an absolute right to bind the 
Colonies in all cases whatsoever, even to deprive them of 
their natural rights, as, if I mistake not, T. H.* said once in 
your hearing. Consequently, I suppose the said member was 
of a similar opinion ; which made him use the common word 
for manumitting a son or a slave among the Romans. And, 
if this was really the general opinion of the British Legis- 
lature, it is indeed full time that we should oblige them to 
come to an eclair eissement upon the important subject ; and, 
at present, I can see nothing will answer the end so well 

DEPENDENCY sub nomine divino, which will soon attract a 
limited commercial correspondence with as many other in- 
dependent States as may be like to comport with the true 
interest of our own, which we must be now convinced can- 
not well comport with the control of any other upon the 
earth. Providence hath, in his great wisdom and goodness, 
assigned us a part of the globe between three and four thou- 
sand miles distant from the nearest European States, chiefly 
situated between thirty and forty-seven degrees north lati- 
tude, affording a number of excellent climates ; the most 
northern, in great part, answering the just expectation of the 
husbandman ; and the most southern by no means encouraging 
indolence from spontaneous productions of support, but all 
must labor, or take care to keep others at work for them, and 
therefore very averse to raise and support such a power 

* Thomas Hutchinson (?). 


among them as shall, ad libitum, demand what proportion 
of the fruits of their labor he or they shall think proper. 
And therefore, considering the distance from Europe ; the 
number and variety of the climates ; the necessity of labor ; 
the almost certain support for all who do labor ; the natural 
production of every needed material for a commercial and 
naval power, and for the defence of the inhabitants against 
all invaders whomsoever, with the singular advantage of not 
less than seventeen or eighteen hundred miles seacoast; the 
many large and long navigable rivers at convenient distances ; 
banks, near the coast, affording very encouraging fisheries of 
the smaller sorts ; and the Atlantic Ocean still open for the 
whale-fishery, with which we are better acquainted than any 
other people, — I say, considering all these natural and politi- 
cal advantages, besides many others not mentioned, I will 
venture to say that we have an indefinitely better prospect of 
success, in every respect, in a disjunction of these American 
States from the government of Great Britain, than any other 
people upon the globe who have separated from the govern- 
ing country ever had. 

Besides, the dispute is risen to so great a height, and the 
contest become really so hot, that all political application 
must of course melt before it; and the wounds given and 
received are so deep, that I fear no political probe will be 
capable of reaching to the bottom. As my Tory cousin, 
Samuel Q., said to yourself, Dr. Cooper, me, and many others, 
after dinner (chez lui, 1774), with a certain air of assurance, 
" Gentlemen, the die is cast ! " so I believe many of his kidney 
assured themselves that it was cast in their favor. I am 
sorry for his mistake, with that of many others, strangely 
confident of victory (sine clade). Such was the happy con- 
tempt of the American soldiery, through as happy misrepre- 
sentations repeated from hence by the ministerial darlings, 
which have been really, in the result, very advantageous to 
the American cause. Such has often been the case where the 


moral as well as political rights of the innocent part of man- 
kind have been wrongfully assailed. "Right will strongly 
unite, cement, and combine, by a mutual association and 
assistance, those who shall act under its banners ; while 
wrong shall naturally, on the contrary, confound and weaken 
with disunion, dissension, and disturbances among themselves, 
those by whom it shall be unhappily adopted." I apprehend, 
the truth of this observation has been frequently remarked by 
those who are devout observers of "the ways of God to man" 
Remarkable, indeed, are the steps of Divine Providence in 
the late signal deliverance of the first and most persecuted 
city of the North-American Colonies, since the flames of the 
British wrath have been kindled against them. The event 
of so peaceful an evacuation is truly wonderful, as we have 
reason to think a large effusion of blood has been prevented, 
not only from both the contending parties, but likewise from 
the inoffensive and innocent inhabitants of the town, who 
must have abided the woful consequences of the storm, which 
we must suppose would have been otherwise very soon de- 
termined upon. By this means, probably most, or a greater 
part, of the dwellings have been preserved. By the same 
means, sir, the large real estate which you had so generously 
resigned to the flames, the same kind Providence, I hope and 
trust, hath reserved to you and yours. May the same all-wise 
Disposer of our respective lot and portion on this transitory 
stage of life sanctify his various dispensations to us, and, 
whether they may be for the present joyous or grievous, yield 
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ! May 
your health be restored, and your life prolonged yet many 
years in the restoration and enjoyment of public peace and 
private happiness, as a temporal reward of your singular 
patriotic care and concern for the real interest of your native 
country ! and, at the close of the scene in this probationary 
state, may we have a house not made with hands, eternal in 
the heavens ! 


I thank you for your hint to Dr. Y. of writing me, under 
the cover, the political news of the day. I have made return 
in the enclosed, and have also wrote my daughter the do- 
mestic occurrences ; to which I beg leave to refer you, and 
to assure you, that I remain, with the most sincere respect 
and esteem, dear sir, your most affectionately obliged friend 
and father, e. q. 

P.S. — I thank you for the k[ing's] silly proclamation, in 
which I observe a reference to an Act made to repeal the 
Boston Port Bill, &c, and to empower the k[ing's] com- 
missioners to grant the colonists pardon of their rebellious 
proceeding, &c, — one bait of a hook ready gauged; but 
hope will not be a catcher of men of high or low degree. 
As I live so much out of the road of news, I would ask the 
favor of your spouse's care to forward me, under your name, 
some of your perhaps neglected Philadelphia papers of weeks 
past, especially such as contain any advices of consequence. 

30th. — Added particular advices, respecting the town and 
H.'s interest, — the 22,000 bushels wheat, blankets, coal, 
artillery, left ; 9,335 hundred-weight mortar and bed ; the 
fortifications going forward, — Fort Hill, Castle, Governor's 
Island, &c, &c. Offered my service to go to Boston, if it 
might be of service to him, &c. Recommended perusal of 
the D. of R.'s Considerations on Present Measures, espe- 
cially pp. 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40, — all very consolatory to the 
Americans in their design (Deo volente) of revolting from 
G[reat] B[ritain], as H[ollan]d did ** from Spain. Also 
noticed the news of G-[overnor] Martin's defeat. 

Wrote at same time, and enclosed, a letter to daughter 
Hancock, in which I acquainted her as follows ; viz., of her 
sister G-.'s* writing her. Refer her to Dr. Y.'s letter, and 
to Mr. H[ancock]'s above, for political. That her sister 

* One of Mrs. Hancock's sisters married William Greenleaf, Sheriff of Worcester, 
in 1763. 



S.* at London, with family, had been inoculated, and were 
well, as we hear; for which I am thankful. Of Mr. Abel 
Willard and his brother going off to Halifax. Noticed the 
signal protection of H[ancock] in the evacuation of the fort- 
ress of Boston. My opinion as to this being the time for 
independency of these Colonies to take place, &c, for many 
reasons. Wrote about S. Sewall's request of a good berth 
anywhere, if he could be supported in a public or private 
school, or gentleman's family for instructing of his children ; 
and desired Mr. H[ancock]'s arrival as soon as may be. Of 
the ships leaving Boston Harbor yesterday, except one and a 
tender. Mentioned D. Barret's loss of goods to a great value. 
Our want of flax m these parts, or would go to spinning. 
To send me newspapers or other publications ; and to put 
Dr. Y. upon writing frequently of occurrences, especially 
what relates to French proceedings, either from F [ranee] 
or W[est] Indies. That we hope them as speedy return as 
may be consistent with public good, &c, &c. 

Letter from Edmund Quincy to Madam Lydia Hancock. f 

Lancaster, March 30, 1776. 
To Madam Lydia Hancock. 

Dear Madam, — Since my last, I have between three and 
four months been in expectation of informing you either of 
the evacuation of the distressed town of Boston by the 
ministerial miserable army under G[eneral] Howe, or of our 
G[eorge] Washington] storming the fortress; unless, agree- 
able to first design, he should, by cannonading and bombard- 
ing the town, oblige him to a surrender. It was expected he 
would have attempted the latter in the winter season ; but 

* Esther Quincy, sister of Mrs. Hancock, married Jonathan Sewall, who went to 
England early in 1775. 

t The widow of Thomas Hancock, who died Aug. 1, 1764. Mrs. Hancock was, at 
the date of this letter, residing at Fairfield, Conn. 


the ground being so hard frozen that the making strong in- 
trenchments would have been very fatiguing, with some other 
impediments, caused a delay till about the beginning of this 
month ; when he began to bombard and cannonade from the 
intrenchments which he had completed nearest to the town, 
by which H[owe] became sensible he had to do with people 
who understood their business, and were resolutely deter- 
mined to do his before they left him. By about the 12th cur- 
rent, Washington] took possession in the night of the heights 
of Dorchester, ranging between the southern batteries and 
Castle William (since destroyed by the enemy), having pre- 
pared timber and fascines for the defence of his men. By 
or before the morning, had a strong breast-work in two lines, 
— one facing the town and harbor; the other, Hfowe's] bat- 
teries, &c.j upon the Neck, with artillery mounted ; and 
finished great part of their intrenchments by the vigorous 
labor of two or three thousand men, and, they say, four 
hundred carts and wagons, employed the day before at a 
distance, and came to their proposed works after it was dark. 
The rise of such a prodigious piece of work in one night 
vastly surprised both the admiral and general, and put the 
latter upon sending proposals to our general for a cessation 
of arms, for, I think, four or five days; which he refused 
absolutely, and returned H[owe] for answer, that he would 
sooner run the risk of fifty thousand men in storming the 
fortress than allow him any time. And this he intended soon 
to do if he did not quit the town, and also to do his utmost to 
destroy the king's ships then before the town. About the 
same time, in the night, it providentially happened that a 
number of the barracks upon Prospect Hill, so called, in 
Charlestown, were burnt down ; making a great light, seen 
in Boston, and by H[owe] and Co. supposed to be a beacon to 
notify the towns about to send in their militia, &c, as speedily 
as possible, in order to the storm threatened. Upon viewing 
the D[orchester] intrenchments, the admiral grew very 



uneasy with the general, and told him, as we hear, that, if he 
did not endeavor to drive the enemy — i.e., the rebels — from 
those intrenchments, he should leave him to himself, as it 
was not safe for the king's ships to lie above the Castle (and, 
indeed, he was right), which caused Howe to parade several 
thousands of his troops in the Common for the purpose ; but, 
as it is said, the remembrance of B[unker]-Hill quarrel was 
so fresh in their minds, that the general met with a refusal. 
And, indeed, they judged very properly, as the attempt 
would have been attended with more imminent hazard ; suc- 
cess being scarcely possible, the intrenchments were so 
strong, and would have been defended with ten times the 
force and judgment than they had to oppose at B[unker] 
Hill : and of this they were fully sensible, — both officers and 
soldiers. However, it was given out that H[owe] made a 
second attempt, and was coming out ; but the winds were too 
high ! Yet I imagine it was too much upon the forlorn hope ; 
and as most of them, I have much reason to think, judged 
the cause they were embarked in to be really in the sight of 
Heaven unjustifiable, neither one nor the other inclined to 
venture so large a stake, but rather to submit to the indignity 
of a speedy evacuation. And I wish that had been the lowest 
stoop they have made : for, when resolved and preparing to 
be gone, they degraded themselves so far as authoritatively 
to demand goods out of shops of the peaceable inhabitants, 
who summered and wintered with them, and deserved pro- 
tection ; and, by the same military authority, they demanded 
keys of stores, in which, they had been informed, much goods 
were left by those who had retired into the country. And, 
among the large sufferers, I am told your friend D. Barret is 
the largest; and hope, as it is only a part of his worldly 
substance, he will be suitably affected with the kind dispensa- 
tion of P[rovidence] in reserving to him and family so large 
a proportion at a time when others have lost all, or perhaps 
more than all, that they really owned in the world, and are 


left naked and destitute. I presume that D. was not so 
happy as to owe much to his agents in G[reat] B[ritain]. If 
he really owed £10,000, he would have a just right to order 
his friends to apply to the king's exchequer for the sum lost, 
or not to order it at all, at least for the present, for this 
reason especially, — that, had the merchants of London con- 
sented to promote the unjustifiable system of the B[ritish] 
ministry against the Colonies, the court of G[reat] B[ritain] 
would have been at first discouraged and diverted from their 
impolitic and tyrannical projection; and herein those mer- 
chants would have proved themselves not only friends to the 
commerce, but to the whole interest, of the B[ritish] nation, 
as they must be very soon clearly convinced, by the fatal 
issue of their ill-judged support, when it shall appear to them 
that they have irretrievably lost all the Colonies, with the 
control of the whole commerce ; which, if the civil war is 
further continued, must inevitably be the case ; as, indeed, 
indignation on the one side, and just resentment, resistance, 
and opposition on the other, are now risen to such a height, 
that submission on the most favorable terms which G[reat] 
B[ritain] will deign to offer or comply with would be really 
unsafe, and might, in the course of things, subject the Colonies 
to a far more dangerous condition than they have been in 
heretofore. But I am fully persuaded, that the set time is 
come, and that the all-wise Governor of men and things hath 
already clearly pointed it out in the seasonable and extraor- 
dinary assistance which he has been pleased under our 
peculiar embarrassments graciously to afford us. We must 
confess, they not only surmount all our public merits, but 
also every thing which we had any reason to expect or hope 
for. With the Psalmist, "we may sing unto the Lord: for 
he hath dealt bountifully with us." If we may not say with 
him, that " he hath not dealt so with any nation/' we may 
yet venture to say, that he hath seldom dealt thus with any 
except " his chosen people." May we have the favor of be- 


coming such, under his chastening hand, that " he may heal 
the broken in heart, and bind up their wounds ; " that " he 
may build up the waste places " of our capital, and " gather 
together the outcast of his people " ! And as our deliverance 
thus far has been attended with such marks of the Divine 
sicperintendency, unless forfeited by pride and vainglory, we 
may hope and trust, that, with his " mighty power and 
stretched-out arm," the Almighty will complete the salvation 
and deliverance of his people, throughout this whole conti- 
nent, from the cruel and iniquitous hand of those, who, with- 
out the least pretence or shadow of justice, have, in so violent 
and unprecedented a manner, risen up against them. 

We just now received advice of Governor Martin and his 
regulators being defeated at North Carolina, and expect a 
similar account of the E[arl] of Dunmore, the atrocious 
criminal of Virginia, and of Governor Carlton at Quebec. 

My son G* this day returned from Boston, and tells me 
your m[ansion] -house, with the outside fences and the stables, 
&c, appear to be in good order: and I am informed by one 
Mr. Williams, who was in Boston the day after evacuation, 
and was assured, that General Pigot, who lived in the house, 
I think, during the w [inter] season, had left it in a cleanly 
state ; and, further, that the wine and other stores had been 
left as he found them ; which I have advised Mr. Hfancock] of. 
Hope may prove true. I rejoice with you both in the good 
hand of a kind P[rovidence], who has seen fit (in mercy, I 
hope) to spare from the flames (to which your nephew wrote 
me, eighth current, that he had resigned the whole interest, 
then expecting to hear of its consumption) so large an estate 
as you had there. And upon the whole, notwithstanding the 
permitted violence of the invaders in the destruction of so 
great a part of the town, the inhabitants have great cause 
of thankfulness for the preservation of so large a part of the 

* Probably son in-law Greenleaf. 


most valuable real interest of the place ; and I would hope, 
that, as the past severe trials (though from the wicked hand 
of oppression and injustice) spring not out of the dust nor 
come out of the ground, the respective sufferers will religi- 
ously and cheerfully commit their cause unto Him u who exe- 
cuteth judgment for the oppressed, and giveth food to the 
hungry," and confide in him ; that their losses will, in his own 
due time and way, be abundantly remunerated to them or 
theirs in this world, or infinitely compensated in the blessings 
of the future; agreeable to what the apostle assureth us, 
" that our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall 
work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory ; while we look not at the things which are seen, 
which are temporal; but at the things which are not seen, 
which are eternal." A noble support of the faith of the 
real Christian, under the chastening dispensation of an all- 
wise and gracious Providence ; and I trust there have been 
and are many such in and of the late distressed and 
afflicted town of your nativity. And may God of his in- 
finite mercy grant, that his judgments, which are so visible 
abroad on the earth, may effectually cause the inhabit- 
ants of that town (formerly so much noted for religion 
and morals) and of the whole land to learn righteousness ! 
And may he thereupon early restore peace in our borders, 
preserve health in our habitations, and in great favor 
give us such seasonable seedtime and so plentiful an har- 
vest as that there may be no complaining of want in our 
streets ! We have yet two or three king's ships lying be- 
low; we suppose, to give intelligence of the late evacua- 
tion, and of the destination of the fleet. We suppose them 
to be gone to H[alifa]x, to lie there till the next arrives from 
E[ngland]. Probable, unless a war calls them home, they 
will, in separate squadrons, harass the A[merican\ coasts, 
and spread desolation among the indefensible seaports. I 
hope there are not many such. As to their landing armies 


in any of the Colonies, they are by this time, and will be, so 
fully apprised of our being prepared almost everywhere to 
receive them, that they will avoid enterprises on shore as 
much as may be. Your nephew informs me, that, in the 
Southern Provinces, they are prepared and preparing to give 
them a drubbing wherever they come. Our people are 
erecting such batteries on Long Island and other places as 
probably will drive every foreign vessel out of the harbor, 
and prevent their future entrance. The works already 
erected on D[orchester] Hill, and erecting on Fort Hill in 
Boston, on Castle Island, and proposed on Governor's Island, 
and elsewhere near the town, I hope, will (under Divine 
Providency) be an adequate defence against every future 
invader of its tranquillity. But may the inhabitants, through 
the spiritual counsels of the teachers, by the powerful in- 
fluences of the Spirit of Truth, be enabled " to put on the 
whole armor of God, and to stand fast in the liberty where- 
with Christ hath made them free, and be not entangled 
again with the yoke of bondage v ! Boston must, for some 
time at least, be continued a garrisoned town, but for its 
defence, and not its annoyance ; and, I trust, under such regu- 
lation and control of the civil law and magistrate as may 
prevent the usual licentiousness in such a case. 

My last advice from Philadelphia] was the tenth current. 
Then your nephew and niece were in usual health ; the former 
amazingly active in the continental affairs, considering the 
slender state of his health, which we hope action may have 
a tendency to restore, or continue as it is. My daughter K. 
regrets the distance of your situation, having not received 
the least advice of your health for near six months. This, 
I hope, may find you in a better state of health than you have 
usually enjoyed for some years. I presume you will have no 
thought of leaving Fairfield till your N. and N.* shall be 

* Probably "nephew and niece." 


able to quit Philadelphia; which, I hope, may be the ensuing 
summer, — perhaps sooner, if any European war should be 
commenced sooner; which is not improbable. But these 
things are in the hands of the all-wise superintending Gov- 
ernor of the universe, who, we trust, will, in his infinite 
goodness, allot such an issue to our present A[merican] dis- 
turbances as may tend to the advancement of his own glory, 
universal peace and good-will among men. We may especially 
hope that a happy change in the Constitution of these Colo- 
nies may, without a repeated control of the B[ritish] Court 
for the sake of prelacy, spread the knowledge of civil life, 
and of the genuine principles of Christianity, through all the 
native tribes of North America ; that they may be effectually 
instructed and persuaded " to beat their swords into plough- 
shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, and to love or 
learn war no more." 

My son and daughter G-., sister K. and niece, join in 
sincere respect and regard to yourself, Mr. B. and lady, 
with, dear madam, your most obliged friend and very humble 
servant, E. Q. 

This being open for want of conveyance, — April 2, — I 
noted to Mr. Hancock the news of the regulars landing at 

[For the following notice of Edmund Quincy, the wri- 
ter of the foregoing letters, and of his brother, Josiah 
Quincy, merchants and copartners, the Society is under 
obligation to Miss Eliza Susan Quincy, of Boston : — 

From the correspondence of Messrs. Edmund and Josiah 
Quincy, it is evident they ranked high among the active and 
enterprising merchants of Boston in the last century. The 
former was graduated at Harvard in 1722 ; the latter, in 1728. 
In 1737, when Josiah Quincy accompanied his father, Judge 



Edmund Quincy, to England, their mercantile relations were 
already extensive ; and it appears they were engaged in ship- 
building, as he immediately contracted to build a vessel of 
two hundred tons for a London merchant, to be employed in 
the whale-fishery. After the death of his father, in February, 
1738, Josiah Quincy visited Holland and France, and esta- 
blished correspondences in Cadiz and Paris ; in Amsterdam, 
with the Messrs. Hope ; in London, with Slingsby Bethel 
(Lord Mayor in 1T56). In the West Indies, their corre- 
spondents were the Messrs. Lloyd ; in Newport, Rhode Island, 
Messrs. Channing and Chaloner. Among the numerous names 
on their account-books, those of Sir William Pepperell, and 
Colonel Dwight of Berkshire, frequently occur. From the 
former they received the produce of the fisheries for exporta- 
tion ; and the latter was their agent for the care of one thou- 
sand acres of land in Lenox, granted to the heirs of Judge 
Edmund Quincy by the Legislature of Massachusetts, out of 
gratitude for his public services. Josiah Quincy again visited 
Europe in 1740, '42, '48 ; and in a letter to his brother, dated 
" Paris, 1748," he states that his object in visiting that city 
was to obtain " a contract from the French Government for 
supplying their garrison at Louisburg with provisions, when 
it is restored to them. I have had an audience of Count 
Maurepas, who seemed inclined to accept my proposals ; but 
there is a delay in the affair, on account, as I imagine, of some 
new difficulties between the plenipotentiaries at Aix la Cha- 
pelle. I am also soliciting a contract in England to supply 
the intended settlement at Cape Sable." During this visit 
to Paris, a letter from Mr. Bethel, dated " London, Aug. 25," 
informed him that " the ship l Bethel/ belonging to the firm 
of Edmund and Josiah Quincy and Edward Jackson, had 
taken at midnight, without firing a single gun, a Spanish 
register ship, with one hundred and seventy thousand dollars 
in gold on board, beside a cargo valued at three hundred 
thousand ; altogether amounting, in probable value, to a hun- 


dred thousand pounds sterling." England being then at war 
with Spain, the ship was carried into Fayal, and condemned 
as a lawful prize. A letter from Benjamin Pratt, afterwards 
Chief-Justice of New York, to Josiah Quincy, proves that 
this transaction was regarded in a favorable and honorable 
light by that eminent lawyer. 

Josiah Quincy returned to Boston in 1749, and soon after 
dissolved partnership with his brother, and retired to Brain- 
tree. In Boston, his residence was in a large mansion (yet 
standing) in Washington Street, south of the entrance to 
Central Court. 

Edmund Quincy, at that period, resided in a house oppo- 
site Trinity Church, in Summer Street, which afterwards 
became the property of Samuel Salisbury. He entered into 
partnership with his sons, lost his property, and, in 1769, 
sold his father's house and estate in Braintree. This man- 
sion, which equals those erected by the Yassals in the 
beginning of the last century, yet stands in good preser- 
vation (1859). During the remainder of his life, Edmund 
Quincy resided in Boston. He published " A Treatise on 
Hemp Husbandry/' and found resources in a taste for 
classical and general literature. For many years he was a 
magistrate of the county of Suffolk, and enjoyed the respect 
of his fellow-citizens. 

Josiah Quincy, in 1752, entered into business with General 
Palmer, and established the first glass-works in America, and 
spermaceti- works on a peninsula in Braintree, — . now Quincy, 
— which, from a colony of Germans they employed as work- 
men, has received the name of Germantown. Both enterprises 
were terminated by the American Revolution. In 1755, he 
was appointed, by Governor Shirley, on a commission with 
Thomas Pownall, to solicit the Colony of Pennsylvania to 
unite with Massachusetts in sending an expedition to erect a 
fortress near Ticonderoga. At Philadelphia, he formed an 
acquaintance with Benjamin Franklin, which resulted in a 


permanent friendship.* After the loss of two houses by fire, 
he erected, in 1770, — on his portion of a tract of land pur- 
chased by his ancestor, Edmund Quincy, in 1635, of an Indian 
sachem, — the mansion now the summer residence of his 
grandson Josiah Quincy. There he resided during the 
American war; and, from one of his letters to General 
Washington, it appears that Franklin and Bowdoin, with 
Dr. Cooper and Dr. Winthrop, visited him in October, 1775, 
and that " their conversation turned on the cruelty they 
were daily suffering from the vengeance of a tyrannical 

Josiah Quincy was described by John Adams as distin- 
guished for polished and graceful manners, and for the 
elegance of his dress and appointments. He lived to wit- 
ness the termination of the contest for independence ; and, 
although his property was lessened by the Revolution, he 
left at his death, in 1784, a valuable estate. His brother, 
Edmund Quincy, with whom he always sustained an affection- 
ate friendship, survived him, and died in 1788, at the age of 

On the table in front of the President was placed a 
beautiful antique breast-pin, having on the front a de- 
vice, — an eagle driving away a lion, with a liberty-cap 
in view ; and, on the back, beneath a glass covering, the 
hair of the proscribed patriots, Samuel Adams and John 
Hancock. This pin is the property of F. O. Prince, 
Esq., having been transmitted to him by Marshall James 

A still more precious relic attracted the attention of 
the members : this was the gorget of General Wash- 

* See Franklin's Autobiography 


ington, a description of which is given below, in Mr. 

Quincy's own words. 


The gorget of General Washington was a part of his uni- 
form, when, as colonel in the service of the State of Virginia, 
he served nnder General Braddock in the war of 1756 ; 
having the arms of the State of Virginia engraved thereon. 
It is represented in the engraving of Washington at the age 
of forty, and forms the frontispiece to the first volume of Mr. 
Sparks's " Life of Washington." 

This precious relic came to my possession under the fol- 
lowing circumstances: From 1805 to 1813, I was one of the' 
representatives of the State of Massachusetts, in the Congress 
of the United States, from Suffolk District. During these 
years, I had the happiness, with my wife, to form an acquaint- 
ance with Mrs. Martha Peter (formerly Custis), the wife of 
Thomas Peter, Esq., of Tudor Place, in the District of Co- 
lumbia. There sprang up between both families — particu- 
larly between Mrs. Peter and my wife — a great intimacy, the 
result of mutual respect and also co-incidence in political 
feeling and opinion, which, at that period, constituted a bond 
of great strength. She was a woman of great personal 
beauty, highly accomplished, intellectual, elevated in spirit 
and sentiment, and worthy of the relation which she held of 
grand-daughter to George Washington. 

When in 1813, on resigning my seat in Congress, I called 
at Tudor Place to take leave, Mrs. Peter, after stating the 
interest she felt in me and Mrs. Quincy, asked my acceptance 
of the " gorget of Washington, with the ribbon attached to it, 
which" she said "she had received at the division of her grand- 
father's estate." About that time, there had been formed in 
Boston a political association bearing the name of the Wash- 
ington Benevolent Society, having for its object the support 
of the views and principles of Washington ; of which I was 
one of the Vice-Presidents : and I immediately suggested the 


propriety, and asked her leave, to present, in her name, that 
precious relic to that society. She expressed her gratifica- 
tion at the suggestion, saying, " that she knew of no place 
where the principles of Washington had been more uniformly 
cherished, or were likely to be more highly prized or pre- 
served longer, than in the town of Boston." 

Accordingly, on my return in April, 1813, I made a formal 
statement of the above circumstances to the Washington 
Benevolent Society, and presented the gorget, in her name, 
to that society. The gift was gratefully and formally re- 
ceived and acknowledged by a vote of the society, signed 
by Arnold Welles, President; and William Sullivan, Josiah 
Quincy, Samuel Messinger, John C. Warren, and Benjamin 
Russell, Vice-Presidents. A record of the gift, of the vote 
of thanks, and of all the proceedings, was written upon 
parchment, and deposited in a box especially adapted for its 
preservation, and an account of the doings of the society 
officially transmitted to Mrs. Peter. 

The gorget remained in that situation, under the care of the 
society, for five or six years, until its final dissolution, when, 
by a vote of the society, it was formally placed in my custody ; 
and I immediately wrote to Mrs. Peter a statement of the cir- 
cumstances, offering to return the gorget to her. She was 
pleased to reply, that it was her wish that I should retain it 
in my possession, and make such disposition of it as I saw fit. 

Mr. Quincy read, from the third volume of a series 
of diaries kept by his father, an animated description of 
the riot excited by opposition to the Stamp Act, during 
which Governor Hutchinson's books and papers Were 
destroyed ; of the appearance of the Chief- Justice, the 
subsequent day, in court; and of his remarks on that 
occasion. This account was written when his father 
was twenty-one years old. It is dated Aug. 27, 1765, 


the day after the disturbance ; and closes with very 
spirited comments, in the peculiarly forcible style of 
the distinguished author, on the value and abuses 
of liberty. 

Mr. Quincy has kindly furnished for the Proceed- 
ings the extracts from his father's diary referred to as 
above : — 

Aug. 27, 1765. — There cannot, perhaps, be found in the 
records of time a more flagrant instance to what a pitch of 
infatuation an incensed populace may arise than the last night 
afforded. The destructions, demolitions, and ruins caused by 
the rage of the Colonies in general — perhaps too justly in- 
flamed — at that singular and ever-memorable statute called 
the Stamp Act, will make the present year one of the most 
remarkable eras in the annals of North America. And that 
peculiar inflammation, which fired the breasts of the people 
of New England in particular, will always distinguish them 
as the warmest lovers of liberty ; though undoubtedly, in the 
fury of revenge against those who they thought had dis- 
claimed the name of sons, for that of enslavers and oppressive 
tax-masters of their native country, they committed acts 
totally unjustifiable. 

The populace of Boston, about a week since, had given a 
very notable instance of their detestation of the above un- 
constitutional Act, and had sufficiently shown in what light 
they viewed the man who would undertake to be the stamp 
distributor.* But, not content with this, the last night they 
again assembled in King's Street ; where, after having kindled 
a fire, they proceeded, in two separate bodies, to attack the 
houses of two gentlemen f of distinction, who, it had been 

* Andrew Oliver, Esq., Secretary of the Province, whose loss was estimated, by the 
Committee of the Council, at £129. 3s. sterling. 

t Benjamin Hallowell, Esq., Comptroller ; and William Storey, Esq., Deputy- 
Registrar of the Admiralty. The loss of Mr. Hallowell was estimated by the aforesaid 
Committee at £412. 9s. Id. sterling; and Mr. Storey s, at £102. Is. 6c?. sterling. 


suggested, were accessories to the present burthens ; and did 
great damage in destroying their houses, furniture, &c, and 
irreparable damage in destroying their papers. Both parties, 
who before had acted separately, then unitedly proceeded to. 
the Chief-Justice's * house, who, not expecting them, was 
unattended by his friends, who might have assisted, or proved 
his innocence. In this situation, all his family, it is said, 
abandoned the house, but himself and his eldest daughter, 
whom he repeatedly begged to depart; but as he found all 
ineffectual, and her resolution fixed to stay and share his fate, 
with a tumult of passions only to be imagined, he took her 
in his arms, and carried her to a place of safety, just before 
the incensed mob arrived. This filial affection saved, it is 
more than probable, his life. Thus unexpected, and nothing 
removed from the house, an ample field offered to satiate, if 
possible, this rage-intoxicated rabble. They beset the house 
on all sides, and soon destroyed every thing of value : f — 

" Furor arma ministrat." — Virgil. 

The destruction was really amazing ; for it was equal to the 
fury of the onset. But what above all is to be lamented is 
the loss of some of the most valuable records of the country, 
and other ancient papers ; for, as his Honor was continuing 
his history, the oldest and most important writings and records 
of the Province, which he had selected with great care, pains, 
and expense, were in his possession. This is a loss greatly to 
be deplored, as it is absolutely irretrievable. 

The distress a man must feel on such an occasion can only 
be conceived by those who the next day J saw his Honor the 
Chief-Justice come into court, with a look big with the greatest 

* Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. 

f The loss sustained by the Chief-Justice, supposed to be upwards of £3,000 ster- 
ling; afterwards estimated by the Council Committee at £2,376. 13s. 4d sterling. 

f First day of the Superior Court's sitting. 


anxiety, clothed in a manner which would have excited com- 
passion from the hardest heart, though his dress had not been 
strikingly contrasted by the other judges and bar, who ap- 
peared in their robes. Such a man in such a station, thus 
habited, with tears starting from his eyes, and a countenance 
which strongly told the inward anguish of his soul, — what 
must an audience have felt, whose compassion had before 
been moved by what they knew he had suffered, when they 
heard him pronounce the following words in a manner which 
the agitations of his mind dictated? 

August Term, 3 George III. in B. R., &c. — Present: The Hon. Thomas 
Hutchinson, Esq., Chief- Justice ; John Cushing, Peter Oliver, Esqs., 

The Chief-Justice, addressing the whole court, said, — 

" Gentlemen, — There not being a quorum of the court without 
me, I am obliged to appear. Some apology is necessary for my dress : 
indeed, I had no other. Destitute of every thing, — no other shirt; 
no other garment but what I have on ; and not one in my whole fami- 
ly in a better situation than myself. The distress of a whole family 
around me, young and tender infants hanging about me, are infinitely 
more insupportable than what I feel for myself, though I am obliged 
to borrow part of this clothing. 

" Sensible that I am innocent, that all the charges against me are 
false, I can't help feeling: and though I am not obliged to give an 
answer to all the questions that may be put me by every lawless per- 
son, yet I call God to witness, — and I would not, for a thousand 
worlds, call my Maker to witness to falsehood, — I say, I call my 
Maker to witness, that I never, in New England or Old, in Great 
Britain or America, neither directly nor indirectly, was aiding, assist- 
ing, or supporting — in the least promoting or encouraging — what is 
commonly called the Stamp Act ; but, on the contrary, did all in my 
power, and strove as much as in me lay, to prevent it. This is not 
declared through timidity ; for I have nothing to fear. They can only 
take away my life, which is of but little value when deprived of all its 
comforts, all that was dear to me, and nothing surrounding me but the 
most piercing distress. 



" I hope the eyes of the people will be opened, that they will see 
how easy it is for some designing, wicked man to spread false reports, 
to raise suspicions and jealousies in the minds of the populace, and 
enrage them against the innocent ; but, if guilty, this is not the way 
to proceed. The laws of our country are open to punish those who 
have offended. This destroying all peace and order of the community, 
— all will feel its effects ; and I hope all will see how easily the people 
may be deluded, inflamed, and carried away with madness against an 
innocent man. 

" I pray God give us better hearts ! " 

The court was then adjourned, on account of the riotous 
disorders of the preceding night, and universal confusion of 
the town, to the 15th of October following. 

Learn wisdom from the present times ! ye sons of 
Ambition'! beware lest a thirst of power prompt you to 
enslave your country ! ye sons of Avarice ! beware lest 
the thirst for gold excite you to enslave your native country ! 
ye sons of Popularity ! beware lest a thirst for applause 
move you groundlessly to inflame the minds of the people ! 
For the end of slavery is misery to the world, your country, 
fellow-citizens, and children ; the end of popular rage, de- 
struction, desolation, and ruin. 

Who, that sees the fury and instability of the populace, but 
would seek protection under the arm of power ? Who, that 
beholds the tyranny and oppression of arbitrary power, but 
would lose his life in defence of his liberty? Who, that 
marks the riotous tumult, confusion, and uproar of a demo- 
cratic, the slavery and distress of a despotic, state, — the 
infinite miseries attendant on both, — but would fly for refuge 
from the mad rage of the one, and oppressive power of the 
other, to that best asylum, that glorious medium, the British 
Constitution? Happy people who enjoy this blessed consti- 
tution ! Happy, thrice happy people, if ye preserve it in- 
violate ! May ye never lose it through a licentious abuse of 
your invaluable rights and blood-purchased liberties ! May 


ye never forfeit it by a tame and infamous submission to the 
yoke of slavery and lawless despotism ! 

" Remember, my friends! the laws, the rights, 
The generous plan of power delivered down, 
From age to age, by your renowned forefathers, 
So dearly bought, the price of so much blood: 
Oh ! let it never perish in your hands, 
But piously transmit it to your children. 
Do thou, great Liberty ! inspire our souls, 
And make our lives in thy possession happy, 
Or our death glorious in thy just defence." 

An interesting conversation ensued relating to the 
battle of Lexington, in which Messrs. Washburn, Sib- 
ley, Paige, Ellis, P. Frothingham, jun., Adams, Savage, 
and Sabine participated. 

On motion of Mr. Livermore, it was unanimously 
Voted, That the Standing Committee have full authority 
to publish such a selection from the recent Proceedings 
of the Society as they may deem to be of general 


The Society held its stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, May 13, at twelve o'clock, m., at their rooms 
in Tremont Street, Boston ; the President, Hon. Robert 
C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Chicago 
Historical Society; the Maryland Historical Society; 
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Samuel A. 
Green, M.D. ; L. A. Huguet Latour, Esq. ; B. P. John- 
son, Esq, ; William Menzies, Esq. ; William H. Polk. 


Esq. ; B. E. Winthrop, Esq. ; and from Messrs. R. 
Frothingham, jun., Sibley, Warren, and Winthrop, of 
the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from Lord 
Lyndhnrst, accepting his election as an Honorary Mem- 
ber of the Society. 

The Cabinet-keeper presented a cannon-ball, which 
was dug up near the " Clark House," in Lexington, 
Mass. ; a gift to the Society from James Shipley, Esq. ; 
for which the thanks of the Society were voted to the 

The President read a letter from Mr. Longfellow, 
inviting the members of the Society to meet at his house 
in Cambridge, the head-quarters of Washington, on the 
seventeenth day of June next, — the anniversary of 
the day of the battle of Bunker Hill. Whereupon, the 
President was requested to acknowledge the civility of 
Mr. Longfellow, and accept the invitation. 

Mr. Warren presented to the Society the Letter-book 
of Governor Belcher, when Governor of New Jersey 
in the years 1752 and 1754. 

Josiah G. Holland, M.D., of Springfield, and the 
Rev. Charles Brooks, of Medford, were elected Resi- 
dent Members ; and Richard Hildreth, Esq., of New 
York, and Rev. A. P. Peabody, D.D., of Portsmouth, 
N.H., Corresponding Members, of the Society. 

Mr. Deane, from the Standing Committee, made a 
statement of the estimated cost of publishing the new 
catalogue of the Society's library, and also laid before 
the meeting specimens of the first page, in different 
type, with a view to obtaining from the members an 


expression of their preference as to the style which 
should be selected. 

Mr. Clifford, after a few earnest and appropriate 
remarks with reference to the value of a printed cata- 
logue and the importance of its early publication, 
presented to the meeting a subscription-paper, which 
had already received the signatures of several of the 
members of the Society, the terms of which are as 
follows : — 

" With a view to secure the earliest publication of the 
catalogue of the library, as now proposed for the press, the 
undersigned agree to pay, on or before the first day of Janu- 
ary next, the sums set against their names, respectively ; for 
which they are to be credited, and allowed to take such 
volumes of the Society's publications as they may desire, 
within one year from this time, at the prices charged to 

"Boston, May 13, 1858." 

Mr. Savage read an interesting and characteristic 
letter from S. A. Otis to James Otis the elder, with a 
view of correcting what Mr. Savage considered to be 
a misconception — notwithstanding the general preva- 
lence of the opinion — regarding the cause of the loss 
of the mental faculties of the great patriot, James Otis. 
The letter contained evidence of the existence of a 
tendency to insanity in the younger Otis, which mani- 
fested itself at an early period of his life. Mr. Savage 
regarded this testimony as sufficient to refute the 
received notion, that the violence inflicted upon him in 
State Street was the occasion of the sad mental eclipse 
under which he suffered towards the close of his life. 



The Society held its stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, June 17, at twelve o'clock, m., at their rooms 
in Tremont Street, Boston ; the President, Hon. Robert 
C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the States 
of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and South Carolina ; the 
Historical Society of Tennessee ; the Trustees of the 
Perkins Institution; the Salem Athenaeum; the Car- 
penters' Company of Philadelphia; Lieutenant-Colonel 
J. D. Grahame, U.S.A. ; J. S. Warren, Esq. ; Daniel T. 
Taylor, Esq. ; Samuel A. Green, M.D. ; James Lenox, 
Esq. ; Hon. William T. Davis ; General De Peyster, 
New York; and from Messrs. Ellis, Livermore, Rob- 
bins, Warren, Whitney, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, the 
President read letters of acceptance from Rev. A. P. 
Peabody, D.D. ; and J. G. Holland, M.D. 

Hon. William Sturgis, and Leverett Saltonstall, 
Esq., were elected Resident Members ; Hon. Richard 
Rush, of Pennsylvania, an Honorary Member ; and 
Hon. George P. Marsh, of Vermont, a Corresponding 
Member, of the Society. 

The President read a note from Hon. Josiah Quincy, 
accompanying an assignment of his whole interest in 
the " Memoir of John Quincy Adams " to the Society. 

The President, in connection with the above-named 
instrument, laid before the Society a copy of the "Memoir 


of the Life of John Quincy Adams," which had been 
politely furnished to the Society in advance of its 
publication. Whereupon, it was unanimously Voted, 
That this Society accept the assignment of the contract 
so generously offered by our venerable associate, on the 
conditions specified in the same; cordially acknowledging 
and reciprocating the expressions of interest and respect 
which it contains, and thanking Mr. Quincy for his 
valuable contribution to the honor and resources of the 

Mr. Whitney exhibited specimens of the new photo- 
lithographic art as applied to the exact copying and 
printing of old manuscripts. 


The Society held a special meeting in the afternoon 
of this day, the 17th of June (the anniversary of 
the battle of Bunker Hill), at the house of Mr. Long- 
fellow, in Cambridge, which, for nine months, was 
the residence and head-quarters of Washington. The 
meeting was called to order by the President at half-past 
five o'clock. 

Mr. Winthrop, in opening the meeting, alluded to 
the occasion and the place, and also to the circumstances 
attending the assumption of the command of the Ame- 
rican army of 1775 by General Washington. His 
remarks were substantially as follows : — 




Head Quarters of Washington, Cambridge, 1775. 

None could have entered this venerable mansion without 
recalling the words which the accomplished host once ad- 
dressed to a child, but which are no less adapted to stir the 
feelings of full-grown men, — 

" Once, ah ! once, within these walls, 
One whom memory oft recalls, 
The Father of his Country, dwelt; 
And yonder meadows broad and damp, 
The fires of the besieging camp 
Encircled with a burning belt. 
Up and down these echoing stairs, 
Heavy with the weight of cares, 
Sounded his majestic tread: 
Yes, within this very room 
Sat he in those hours of gloom, 
Weary both in heart and head." 

The day is memorable as the anniversary of the first great 
battle for American liberty. But it is hardly a less interest- 
ing circumstance, in view of the place of the meeting, that 
Washington's commission, as commander-in-chief of the Ameri- 
can armies, was prefaced and dated on this same day, — a cir- 
cumstance which gave opportunity for the beautiful allusion of 


Mr. Everett, when he said that on this day " Providence kept 
an even balance with the cause, and, while it took from us a 
Warren, gave us a Washington." 

Washington was unanimously elected commander-in-chief, 
at the call of Massachusetts (as Mr. Bancroft, in his new 
volume, well says), on the 15th of June, 1775. On the 
16th, he was informed of the election by the President 
of the Continental Congress, in presence of the assembled 
body ; when he accepted it in a speech, of which one sentence, 
at least, should never be forgotten : — 

" But lest some unlucky event should happen, unfavorable to ray 
reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the 
room, that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think 
myself equal to the command I am honored with." 

History has already pronounced its judgment upon that 
memorable disclaimer of one to whom it was justly said by 
the Speaker of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, at the 
close of the French war, " Your modesty is equal to your 
valor ; and that surpasses the power of any language that I 

On the 17th of June, a committee, composed of Mr. 
Lee, Mr. Rutledge, and Mr. John Adams, reported his com- 
mission; which was adopted, and ordered to be signed by 
the President, — our own Massachusetts John Hancock. 

Washington lost little time in repairing to the post which 
had been thus assigned him. Mr. Irving tells us, that, on the 
20th, he received his commission from Hancock. On the 
21st, he set out from Philadelphia on horseback, accom- 
panied by General Charles Lee and General Schuyler. 

When twenty miles out from Philadelphia, he is stated to 
have met a courier, in hot haste, with despatches giving an 
account of the battle of Bunker Hill, — thus showing the 
rapidity with which the news travelled in those days, when 



there were neither railroads nor telegraphs, and when the 
common roads were so rough and wretched. Four days from 
Bunker Hill to Philadelphia ! The interview with the courier 
was most memorable. Washington inquired the particulars : 
"Above all, how acted the militia?" And when told how 
well they stood their ground, and reserved their fire, he 
exclaimed, " The liberties of the country are safe ! " He 
reached Newark, N. J., on the 25th, and was escorted to 
New York by a Committee of the New -York Provincial 
Congress the same day. 

The circumstances of his reception at New York were not 
a little amusing. The British Governor, Tryon, it seems, was 
to arrive the same da} 7 . A small escort was ordered for both, 
and a larger one to be in readiness for whichever came 
first. Washington arrived first, and received all the honors ; 
but the grand escort, three hours afterwards, was at leisure 
to do the same honors to Governor Tryon, and actually paid 
them. Washington left New York on the 26th, and arrived at 
Watertown, as Mr. Irving says, on the second day of July, 
where he was greeted by the Provincial Congress of Massa- 
chusetts with a congratulatory address. 

The Provincial Congress of Massachusetts had taken pre- 
vious measures for his reception and accommodation. On 
Saturday afternoon, the 24th of June, they passed a signifi- 
cant " order, that the proclamation for a fast be suspended; n 
as if Washington's coming (like the arrival of that well- 
remembered shipload of provisions for the starving Massachu- 
setts Colony in 1630) was reason enough for changing a fast 
into a thanksgiving, or certainly for suspending it. Imme- 
diately afterwards, they appointed a committee of seven to 
devise measures for receiving Washington, and to provide a 
house for him. This committee reported, on Sunday after- 
noon, the 25th ; but the detailed report was not considered 
and adopted until Monday the 26th. 


The report was as follows : — 

Resolved, That a committee of two be appointed to repair to 
Springfield, there to receive Generals Washington and Lee with every 
mark of respect due to their exalted characters and stations ; to pro- 
vide proper escorts for them from thence to the army before Boston, 
and the house provided for their reception at Cambridge ; and to make 
suitable provision for them in manner following, viz. : By a number 
of gentlemen of this Colony from Springfield to Brookfield, and by 
another company, there provided, from thence to Marlborough, and 
from thence, by the troops of horse in that place, to the army afore- 
said, and their company at the several stages on the road, and to 
receive the bills of expenses at the several inns where it may be con- 
venient for them to stop for refreshment, to examine them and make 
report of the several sums expended at each of them for that purpose, 
that orders may be taken by the Congress for the payment of them ; 
and all innkeepers are hereby directed to make provision agreeable to 
the requests made by the said committee ; and that General Ward be 
notified of the appointment of General Washington as commander-in- 
chief of the American forces, and of the expectation we have of his 
speedy arrival, with Major- General Lee, that he, with the generals of 
the forces of the other Colonies, may give such orders for their honor- 
able reception as may accord with the rules and circumstances of the 
army, and the respect due to their rank ; without, however, any 
expense of powder, and without taking the troops off from the neces- 
sary attention to their duty at this crisis of our affairs. 

Resolved, That the President's house,* in Cambridge, — excepting 
one room reserved by the President for his own use, — be taken, 
cleared, prepared, and furnished for the reception of General Wash- 
ington and General Lee ; and that a committee be chosen immediately 
to carry the same into execution. 

Dr. Church and Mr. Gill, with Major Hawley, were ordered 
to be of this committee to go and receive Washington at 
Springfield ; but Hawley was too important to be spared for 
errands of ceremony, and was excused. Washington and 
General Lee were ordered, it will be perceived, to be received 

* It was this phrase, " the President's house," which led Irving into the mistake 
which he has corrected in vol. ii. chap. 1. 


with all the respect due to their rank ; but with the significant 
proviso, " without any expense of powder." That article 
was too scarce to be wasted on salutes. Yet Irving tells us, 
doubtless not without authority, that he proceeded to head- 
quarters at Cambridge on the 2d, after the ceremony at 
Watertown ; and that, " as he entered the confines of the camp, 
the shouts of the multitude and the thundering of artillery 
gave note to the enemy, beleagured in Boston, of his arrival." 
This would fix the entrance of Washington into the man- 
sion, in which we are gathered, for the 2d of July. But 
there is some conflict of dates upon this point, entirely capa- 
ble, however, of satisfactory explanation. Washington's first 
official letter to the President of the Continental Congress, 
as contained in Peter Force's Archives (vol. ii. 4th series. 
p. 1624), is dated July 10, 1775, " Camp at Cambridge," and 
commences thus : — 

"Sir, — I arrived at this place on the 3d instant, after a journey 
attended with a good deal of fatigue, and retarded by necessary atten- 
tions to the successive civilities which accompanied me on my whole 
route. Upon my arrival, I immediately visited the several posts 
occupied by our troops," &c. 

This letter speaks of his arrival on the 3d instant. Irving 
says the 2d, and makes it out the same day that he was 
received by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts 
at Watertown. But the records of the Provincial Congress at 
Watertown, as contained in Force's Archives (vol. ii. pp. 1472 
and 1473), contain the address of the Congress, and Washing- 
ton's reply, under date of Saturday afternoon, July 1. Mr. 
Frothingham, however, informs us that Washington's reply 
to the address of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts 
was on the 4th of July. If this be so, its insertion in the 
records of the Provincial Congress of the 1st was only nunc 
pro tunc, in order to bring the reply into immediate connec- 
tion with the address at the time it was reported and agreed 
upon, — and Mr. Irving's statement is reconciled ; and the 


fact will appear that Washington arrived at Watertown on 
the 2d, received the address, and proceeded to Cambridge 
on the same day. 

But there is still another authority. In the records of the 
Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, July 4, afternoon 
(Archives, vol. ii. p. 1480), there is a letter ordered to be sent 
to Governor Trumbull, which contains the following pas- 
sage : — 

" We have the pleasure to be able to acquaint your honor, that 
Generals Washington and Lee, with Mr. Mifflin, aid-de-camp to Gen- 
eral Washington, arrived at Cambridge last sabbath, in poor health, 
a little after twelve o'clock at noon ; and have great reason to expect, 
from their known characters, and their activity and vigilance, already 
discovered, that their presence in the army will be attended with most 
happy consequences." 

Now, that sabbath-day was the 2d of July ; and this date 
agrees with both Irving and Frothingham, the latter of whom 
says Washington " reached Cambridge on the 2d of July, 
about two o'clock, escorted by a cavalcade of citizens and a 
troop of light horse." Mr. Frothingham adds, " On the 3d, 
he assumed the command of the army." This would account 
for Washington's first despatch from the camp at Cambridge, 
saying, " We arrived here on the 3d ; " meaning that he 
assumed command of the army on that day. 

A comparison of all the authorities would seem thus to 
establish the point, that Washington came first to this house 
on Sunday, the 2d of July, 1775, between twelve and two 
o'clock; and remained quietly here until the next day, when 
he proceeded to make his official appearance at camp. 

There was an alarm that the British were about making an 
attack just at that moment, and Washington probably made all 
the haste in his power ; and both he and the Provincial Con- 
gress were compelled to adopt the doctrine that there are no 
Sundays in revolutions. 


Whether Washington brought the buff and blue uniform 
with him, or when he adopted it, has sometimes been doubted ; 
but Thatcher writes, July 20, that he saw him, and describes 
his dress as " a blue coat with buff-colored facings," &c. — 
Frothingham, 222. 

It is not among the least striking circumstances of this 
passage of Washington's history, that he should have been 
escorted into Massachusetts and to the head-quarters at Cam- 
bridge by Dr. Church, whom, a few months afterwards, he 
himself was compelled to arrest and imprison as a traitor ; 
and that his immediate companion, to whom Massachusetts 
paid almost equal honor as to him (the address to whom was 
even more panegyrical and cordial), should have been General 
Charles Lee, who, in 1778, was dismissed from the American 
army under circumstances almost as equivocal. 

Before leaving the subject altogether, Mr. Winthrop 
referred to another confusion of dates in connection 
with one of the more important events of Washington's 
career. In every published copy of Washington's "Fare- 
well Address " which he had seen, until a few months 
ago, the date has uniformly been Sept. 17, 1796; and 
all have been disposed to regard it as no accidental 
coincidence, that it should have borne date on the anni- 
versary of the day on which the Constitution of the 
United States itself was signed by the convention of 
which Washington was President. 

But a few months ago, Mr. Winthrop received one of 
Mr. Lenox's beautiful large paper copies of the address, 
from the Claypoole MS. ; and there he found the date, 
Sept. 19, 1796. About ten days since, he had the 
gratification of passing an hour with Mr. Lenox in his 
own magnificent mansion, in New York, where he 


kindly placed this invaluable manuscript in his hand. 
The date is in Washington's clear and unmistakable 
hand, like all the rest of this paper, with all the ori- 
ginal alterations and corrections ; and it is indisputably 
Sept. 19. Yet even the edition of 1796, of which a 
copy has recently come to us from Dr. Belknap's collec- 
tion, is dated Sept. 17. Mr. Winthrop knows not how 
to account for this discrepancy. 

The President read letters from Washington Irving 
and William H. Prescott, members of the Society, 
expressing regret at being obliged to be absent from the 
meeting ; and he also received a letter from the vene- 
rable Richard Hush to the same effect. 

Mr. Paige communicated the following reminiscences 
of the Vassal Family, and of the mansion in which the 
Society were assembled : — 

Colonel John Vassall (H. C. 1732) married, 10th October, 
1734, Elizabeth, daughter of Lieutenant-Governor Spencer 
Phips ; and had John ; Ruth, who married Edward Davis, of 
Boston ; and Elizabeth, who married Lieutenant-Governor 
Thomas Oliver, of Cambridge. He bought the estate, 26th 
July, 1736, and probably erected the house, now owned by 
Samuel Batchelder, Esq., opposite to the Washington Head- 
quarters. His wife died 22d September, 1739 ; and he sold 
his mansion, 30th December, 1741, to his brother, Colonel 
Henry Yassall. Where he resided for the next few years, 
I know not : but he bought, 17th January, 1746, a house 
and about six acres of land, opposite to his former mansion, 
and adjoining the Head-quarters ; about which time he was 
again married. His early death, which occurred 27th Novem- 
ber, 1747, probably prevented the erection of a new edifice. 


His widow, Lucy, subsequently married Benjamin Ellery ; 
and their only daughter, Lucy, married John Lavicourt, of 
Antigua. Colonel Vassall was subject to the jealousies and 
annoyances which frequently attend the possession of great 
riches. The Middlesex Court-Records for January, 1741, 
show that Samuel Whittemore (who subsequently signalized 
his bravery, at the age of seventy-nine years, by an active 
participation in the battle on the 19th of April, 1775), had 
expressed publicly his opinion, that Colonel "Vassall was no 
more fit for a Selectman than his horse was ; whereupon 
Colonel Vassall commenced an action of defamation, claim- 
ing damages in the sum of ten thousand pounds. On trial, 
the verdict was, that the words spoken were not actionable. 
Mr. Whittemore then commenced an action against Colonel 
Vassall for false and malicious imprisonment, and recovered 
two hundred pounds' damages. 

Colonel John Vassall, the younger, upon the death of his 
father, became the ward of his grandfather Phips, and was 
heir, by will, to the whole real estate. He graduated (H. C. 
1757) a few months after his grandfather's death ; and bought, 
28th July, 1759, a house and land adjoining that which was 
purchased by his father in 1746. On this estate, probably on 
that last purchased, he immediately erected the splendid 
mansion now owned and occupied by Professor Longfellow, 
and celebrated as the Head-quarters. By subsequent pur- 
chases, he increased the size of his homestead until it em- 
braced nearly fifty acres; besides which, he owned a still 
greater number of acres in other lots. Having married 
Elizabeth, sister to Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Oliver, he 
occupied his mansion until the commencement of the Revo- 
lution ; when he fled, and his estates were confiscated by the 
government. The mansion and lands were sold, 4th April, 
1782, to Nathaniel Tracy, Esq., then of Newburyport; who 
conveyed them, 30th October, 1786, to Thomas Russell, 
merchant, of Boston; by whom they were sold, 1st January, 


1793, to Andrew Craigie, Esq., of Cambridge, in whose 
possession they remained until his death, and afterwards 
in possession of his widow until her death at a recent 

As an illustration of the fashions and habits which 
prevailed a century ago, Mr. Paige read a copy, from 
the Probate Eecords, of a receipt for certain articles 
devised by the elder Colonel Vassall to his son, who 
afterwards bore the same title. 

Cambridge, Nov. 7, 1752. — Then received of Mr. Ben- 
jamin Elery, of Cambridge, the articles hereafter mentioned, 
given by the last will and testament of Colonel John Vassall, 
late of said town, Esq., deceased, to his son John Vassall: 
viz., his library, watch, sword, and arms ; a velvet coat, laced ; 
an embroidered jacket, silk breeches, a bine velvet coat with 
gold lace, a camlet coat, a flowered-silk coat and breeches, 
a paduasoy waistcoat and breeches, scarlet breeches, a scar- 
let coat, a fustian coat, a cloth coat, an old waistcoat, a pair 
of new cloth breeches, a banyan, an old great-coat, eighteen 
pairs of white ribbed stockings, one pair of worsted stock- 
ings, a pair of boots, a pair of spurs, a trooping saddle, one 
laced hat, one plain hat, a pair of pocket-pistols, holsters and 
caps, saddle-girt, brass stirrups, a silver-hilted sword, a gun, 
riding-pistols, a silver watch, an old green coat, a black vel- 
vet jacket, a bookcase; all which were left in possession of 
the said VassalFs widow, and whereof the said Elery is 
hereby discharged, and from all demands for the same. — Wit- 
ness our hands, 

Richard Bill, 

A W 

(Executors of the last Will and Testament 
of the said John Vassall, Esq. 

Nov. 7, 1752. — I, Spencer Phips, Esq., guardian to 
John Vassall (son of Colonel John Vrssall above named), do 


hereby acknowledge that I have received of the executors 
before named the several articles, above enumerated, for and 
on account of the said John, my pupil ; and shall account with 
him for the same. S. Phips. 

Judge Shaw related an anecdote, of which he had 
been reminded by an allusion in Mr. Paige's statement 
to Colonel Vassal, the owner, at the time of the Revo- 
lution, of the house in which the Society were as- 

The estate having been confiscated by the government 
because its owner was a Tory, when the commissioners were 
putting it up for sale, an old colored man, a slave, who had 
long served in the Vassal Family, named Tony, stepped forth, 
and said, that he was no Tory, but a friend of liberty ; and, 
having lived on the estate all his life, he did not see any 
reason why he should be deprived of his dwelling. On peti- 
tioning the General Court, a resolve was framed, granting 
Tony a stipend of twelve pounds annually. 

About 1810 (after Tony's death), Cuba, his widow, went to 
the State Treasurer to get her stipend ; but it was found that 
the resolve did not include herself. Mr. Shaw, then a 
member of the House, presented her petition for the continu- 
ance of the grant. It met with favor, and the annual sum 
was voted to Cuba during her natural life. 

Mr. Willard read a letter from Henry Knox to his 
wife, with a view, as he said, to show the early service 
of Knox as an engineer before he joined the army, and 
the great commendation he received from the highest 
authority. Mr. Willard stated, in substance, that there 
could be no vanity in reciting this commendation, as 
it was written in the unreserved confidence between hus- 
band and wife. 


There were large works at Roxbury, and Knox had a 
large share in their plan and construction ; though 
Gridley, as chief engineer, was the ostensible person 
who would reap all the praise. Gridley was getting 
old, and, in the fall of '75, was superseded by Henry 
Knox, until that time a private citizen. 

Roxbury, Lemuel Childs, Thursday morning, six o'clock, 
July 6 (?), 1775. 

Yesterday, as I was going to Cambridge, I met the gene- 
rals,* who begged me to return to Roxbury again ; which I 
did. When they had viewed the works, they expressed the 
greatest pleasure and surprise at their situation and apparent 
utility, to say nothing of the plan, which did not escape their 

You may remember General Lee's letter, which Dr. Church 
was to have sent into Boston to General Burgoyne. Yes- 
terday, Mr. Webb took it to the lines at Bunker's Hill, 
when Major Bruce, of the 38th, came out to him (he who 
fought a duel with General Pigot). Mr. Webb said, " Sir, 
here is a letter from General Lee to General Burgoyne. Will 
you be pleased to give it to him ? As some part of it requires 
an immediate answer, I shall be glad you would do it 
directly. And also here is another letter to a sister of mine 
in Boston (Mrs. Simpson), to whom I should be glad you would 
deliver it." The major gave him every assurance that (he) 
would deliver the letter to Mr. Simpson himself, and to 
General Burgoyne ; but could not do it immediately, as the 
general was on the other lines (meaning Boston Neck). 
" General Lee ! Good God, sir ! is General Lee (there) ? (I) 
served two years with him in Portugal. Tell him, sir, that I 
am extremely sorry that my profession obliges me to be his 

* Washington and Lie. 


opposite in this unhappy affair. Can't it be made up ? Let 
me beg of you to use your influence, and endeavor to heal 
this unnatural breach ! " Mr. Webb told him, that it was not 
the work of one side only, and appointed to meet again this 
day at eleven o'clock. Previous to this, the General had been 
down to the lines at Bunker Hill, at which place there was an 
out-sentry, to whom General Lee spoke, and desired him to 
tell his officers that he was there, and to inform General Bur- 
goyne that he had a letter for him. This produced a trum- 
peter, one of the New Light Horse ; but without his horse 
. . . * to General Lee with a letter from General Burgoyne, 
desiring to receive the letter. General Lee wrote another 
letter, informing him how he had sent it." . . . 

Mr. Adams called the attention of members to the 
fact, that this anniversary was marked by more than one 
event worthy of commemoration ; for, at the same time 
that the bloody affair in this immediate neighborhood 
was going on, with the details of which all are familiar, 
another most interesting act was doing in Philadelphia. 

The Federal Congress of 1775 was engaged in maturing 
and adopting the commission of him whom the members had 
selected as the Commander-in-chief of the Army of the United 
Colonies ; and, what was still more material, they were enter- 
ing into a solemn pledge, that they would " maintain and assist 
him, and adhere to him, the said George Washington, with 
their lives and fortunes," in the cause of American liberty. 

It might, therefore, not seem entirely inappropriate on this 
day to enter into a brief review of the causes that led to 
this nomination, especially since the subject had been of late 
revived by the publication of Mr. Bancroft's last volume. Mr. 
Adams thought they were to be traced as far back as in the 

* Illegible. 


preceding Congress, when the delegates from the various 
Colonies first came together to consult upon their common 
interests. At that Congress, Washington had appeared as 
one of the representatives of Virginia, but apparently not yet 
clear as to what extent it was proper to involve himself in the 
difficulties into which Massachusetts was plunged. There is 
reason to suppose that he shared somewhat in the distrust 
generally felt, south of New England, of the purposes of the 
Massachusetts leaders. Whilst in this state of mind, he re- 
ceived a letter from Captain MacKenzie. MacKenzie was a 
native of Virginia, and an acquaintance of Washington, who 
had taken a commission in the British army, and was at this 
time attached to one of the regiments stationed at Boston. 
The object of the letter was to prejudice his mind against the 
action of the people of Massachusetts, and to induce him to 
exert his influence to counteract the policy their delegates 
were advocating in Philadelphia. Determined to satisfy him- 
self as to the true character and designs of these delegates, 
he seems to have sought an interview and free conference 
with them at their lodgings. That interview took place on 
the evening of the 28th of September, 1774. Kichard Henry 
Lee, and Dr. Shippen of Philadelphia, were likewise present. 
It seems to have settled all Washington's doubts, if he had 
any; for, instead of noisy, brawling demagogues, meaning 
mischief only, he found the delegates plain, downright practi- 
cal men, seeking safety from oppression, and contemplating 
violence only as the result of an absolute necessity forced on 
them by the government at home. The effect of this con- 
ference is made visible in his answer to MacKenzie, dated on 
the 9th of October, which is printed in the second volume of 
Mr. Sparks's work. Mr. Adams regarded that letter as one 
of the most characteristic as well as important productions 
that remain to give an insight into his mind. 

A few days later, the Congress separated, and the delegates 
returned to their respective homes. In the month of April 


following, the affair at Lexington took place. Its electric 
effect through the entire extent of the Colonies is well under- 
stood. It was the first outbreak of the martial spirit of the 
whole people. Almost in a moment, there had gathered a 
great body of armed men around Boston. The next thing 
was to know what to do with them. It was plain that Massa- 
chusetts would be unable to maintain them a great while ; 
yet, if they were permitted to separate, she would be, in a 
manner, left worse off than if they had not come at all. 

It was just at this time that the members of the Second 
Congress were assembling at Philadelphia. They organized 
on the 10th of May; and the official papers, detailing the affair 
at Lexington, were immediately laid before them. The next 
thing we know of Washington is that he is attending the 
meetings, dressed in a military uniform, and giving useful 
advice in all military questions. This fact, which only comes 
down to us incidentally through an allusion to it in a letter of 
John Adams to his wife, had ever struck the speaker with 
great force, as developing the state of feeling of Washington 
at this period ; for it should be remembered, that he was 
not at the time acting in any military capacity : neither does 
it appear what was the uniform he wore ; probably that of a 
colonel of Virginia militia. Certainly the attendance of any 
member of a deliberative body, dressed in uniform, would be 
regarded as startling at this day. It had always been con- 
strued by Mr. Adams as Washington's way of announcing that 
his mind was made up, and that he was ready to take his place 
in the ranks in any capacity to which his country should call 
him. He was no maker of speeches ; and this act was more 
significant than many speeches. It was no solicitation for 
place after the manner £>f an office-seeker ; for nobody would 
suspect it of him : but it was the highest aspiration of patriot- 
ism, offering to meet danger in any situation in which such 
services as he could render might avail to defend his coun- 
try. Viewed in this light, then, it would seem as if, when 

1858.] REMARKS OP MR. ADAMS. 71 

answering the much-agitated question, u Who nominated 
Washington to the chief command?" it might be affirmed 
that he most unconsciously nominated himself. 

Thus much for one side of this question. It remains to 
consider how the matter came to be agitated within the limits 
of Massachusetts. It has been intimated that there was a 
popular demand there for the nomination, and that it was 
communicated through agents sent to Philadelphia. It may 
be so : but there is no evidence of it before the public ; and 
such evidence as Mr. Adams possessed tended to show the 
contrary. The first trace of the suggestion, so far as he 
knew, was to be found in a letter of James Warren to John 
Adams, dated 7th May, 1775 ; or three days before the as- 
sembling of the Second Congress at Philadelphia. After 
commenting on the state of things in Massachusetts, and the 
necessity of prompt decision in adopting the army, he uses 
these words : " They seem to want a more experienced direc- 
tion. I could for myself wish to see your friends Washington 

and L at the head of it ; and yet dare not propose it, 

though I have it in contemplation." 

It would seem, then, that if James Warren, an active man 
in public affairs, remained on the 7th of May afraid to make 
the suggestion of Washington's name, there could have been 
down to that time no possible agitation of the subject in any 
public form in Massachusetts. 

The first application made to the Congress at Philadelphia, 
in 1775, by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, related 
to the disordered condition of the civil affairs of the Colony. 
There was a feeling of great uneasiness at the presence of a 
large and undisciplined body of armed men, really subject to 
no recognized authority, and amenable to no civil tribunal 
in the State ; for the courts were all shut up, and obedience to 
the law was voluntary only. This produced a resolve direct- 
ing Dr. Church to proceed immediately to Philadelphia, and lay 
before Congress an address pointing out the cause of their 


anxiety, and requesting immediate advice as to the form of 
government which it would be proper to establish in order to 
allay it. At the close was annexed a suggestion of the pro- 
priety of assuming the direction of the army. This resolve 
was adopted on the 16th of May. Not a word was said 
about the chief command. Dr. Church was directed to con- 
fer with the Congress respecting such " other matters as may 
be necessary to the defence of the Colony, and particularly 
the state of the army therein; " but the manner was left en- 
tirely to his discretion. That his authority did not extend 
to the question of the chief command, is tolerably apparent 
from the fact, that, on the very next day (May 17), the Provin- 
cial Congress entered upon the discussion of the propriety of 
making out a commission of commander-in-chief for General 
Ward ; that they decided so to do; and that, on the 19th, such 
a commission was reported and accepted. It appears recorded 
in full on the journal for that day. Now, it can scarcely be 
presumed that such a step as this would have been unani- 
mously taken, if there had been any general wish for the 
immediate selection of another and a different officer, or if 
any application had been contemplated for such a person 
outside of the Colony. 

With the slow modes of communication of those days, Dr. 
Church seems not to have reached Philadelphia before the 1st 
of June. The memorial of which he was the bearer was pre- 
sented to Congress on the 2d; and he was himself introduced, 
and told his story, on that day. It does not appear that the 
question of the command was in any way brought up. The 
application for advice in forming a government was consi- 
dered as the paramount subject ; and was therefore referred 
to a committee of five persons on the 3d of June, who 
reported on the 7th. Their report was adopted on the 9th, 
and is found recorded on the journal of that day. It was 
that well-known half-and-half expedient, neither affirming nor 
denying the nature of the crisis, but recommending an 

1858.] REMARKS OF MR. ADAMS. 73 

avoidance of the difficulty by a resort to a provisional govern- 
ment. Dr. Church returned with this result on the 10th. 
So far as his mission was concerned, it seems thus to have 
been fulfilled. 

The next address from the Provincial Congress, re-iterating 
the topics of the former, was adopted on the 12th of June. 
Not a word is there uttered of the chief command. The 
great anxiety is still for the security of the government. 
But, as the express bearing this paper did not reach Philadel- 
phia until the 27th of June, its consideration is not material 
to this discussion. 

We now come to the examination of the well-known letter 
of Mr. Gerry, published, long ago, in his Biography by Mr. 
Austin. That letter bore date the 4th of June, and was 
addressed to the delegate of Massachusetts. Towards the 
end of it, he suggests the expediency of obtaining the ser- 
vices of General Lee, and then adds these words : " I should 
heartily rejoice to see this way the beloved Colonel Washing- 
ton ; and do not doubt the New-England generals would ac- 
quiesce in showing to our sister Colony, Virginia, the respect 
which she has before experienced from the continent, in 
making him generalissimo. This is a matter in which Dr. 
Warren agrees with me ; and we had intended to write you 
jointly on the affair." 

It is somewhat doubtful whether this letter could have 
been received at Philadelphia before the question had been 
debated and virtually decided. If we are to judge by the 
speed of the two other expresses already mentioned, it would 
not have arrived before the 18th of June. The last discus- 
sions in Congress took place on the 12th and 14th, and the 
vote was passed on the 15th. But, even if it had arrived in 
season, the terms in which it is couched forbid all idea of 
any general desire prevailing in Massachusetts for the nomi- 
nation of Washington. It is not a personal feeling, but a 
motive of political expediency. Deference to Virginia, — that 



is assigned as the consideration for acquiescing in the act. 
Probably, among the people in Massachusetts, there was more 
confidence felt in Lee. considered merely as a military officer, 
than in Washington. The selection of the latter was there- 
fore rather an idea of a very few long-sighted leaders in the 
private councils, than prompted by any popular manifesta- 
tion. It was the wish to enlist Yirginia by putting the army 
under the direction of a person in whom that Colony had 

And, after all, these private suggestions must have gone 
very little way in relieving the responsibility of those who 
were acting on behalf of Massachusetts at Philadelphia. They 
could not have weighed a feather in the scale, had the selec- 
tion proved unfortunate. It is probable that the decision was 
made somewhere between the 7th and 14th of June. The 
only account of it that has come down to us is found in the 
Autobiography of John Adams. There is no need of recapi- 
tulating what has already appeared so lately before the 
public. The sum of it is, that, although the designation of 
the person to be selected for the chief command was unequi- 
vocally made by John Adams, it was yet done, incidentally, 
in the course of the debate on the question of the adoption of 
the army before Boston, and only led indirectly to the nomi- 
nation, which was actually made by Thomas Johnson, of 
Maryland. Undoubtedly, the mistake in Mr. Bancroft's last 
volume, whereby it would seem as if one Thomas had been 
the person, is purely typographical. The surname has 
dropped out by accident ; for there was no one named Thomas, 
in Congress, from Maryland. For Mr. Johnson's agency in 
this matter, it might be permitted to Mr. Adams to take a little 
pride ; for he was the brother of his maternal grandfather : 
and his name is well deserving to be honored for his other 
public services, which nothing but his own want of ambition 
prevented from being continued in some of the highest posts 
under the Federal Institution, down to the beginning of the 

1858.] REMARKS OF DR. ELLIS. 75 

present century. He was repeatedly called upon by Wash- 
ington to serve in great trusts, but called in vain. 

Such are the particulars which Mr. Adams had been able 
to gather touching the nomination to the chief command of 
the Revolutionary army. 

Dr. Ellis stated, that, when he was preparing an 
Address commemorative of the Battle, he had fre- 
quent conversations about it with Judge Prescott, and 
received from him much valuable information. In 
connection with his modest and unobtrusive way of re- 
ferring to the manner in which his father's services had 
been overlooked, and made of seemingly secondary 
value, he noticed that the Judge had a very strong 
filial feeling in the case. He said, that, while the 
controversy and discussion were going on, in which 
Daniel Webster took part (about the year 1818), in his 
article in the " North American Review," he himself 
kept silence, resolved not to obtrude any thing in refer- 
ence to the claims of his father ; trusting that in due 
season the truth would appear. Judge Prescott also 
informed him, that Colonel Trumbull apologized to him 
for having represented his father in a slouched hat and 
a farmer s frock, swinging his musket as an ordinary 
soldier, or mere volunteer, in the picture of the battle ; 
and proposed doing something to rectify the error. 

Dr. Ellis added, that, on transmitting a copy of his 
Address, after its publication, to the Judge, he received 
from him a letter, the contents of which he regarded 
as of exceeding interest and importance. It is here 
printed : — 


Nahant, July 19, 1841. 

My dear Sir, — I heartily thank you for the copy of the 
excellent and eloquent oration which you had the goodness 
to send me. It is by far the most intelligible and correct 
account I have seen of that rather confused battle. I beg 
you to believe we are not unmindful of the very kind and 
flattering terms in which you have spoken of my father, 
not forgetting his descendants. 

I have always thought, indeed known, that the accounts 
commonly given of that action were incorrect at least ; and 
you may be assured it afforded me no little pleasure to find, 
that an orator, selected to commemorate the anniversary, in 
a town whose inhabitants were witnesses to the battle, was 
able, and had the independence, at this late day, upon a care- 
ful examination of the facts, to do justice to Colonel Prescott, 
in apportioning the honors of the battle-field among the 
heroes of the day. This oration, though but a pamphlet in 
form, will, I doubt not, lead the way to more correct views 
on the subject. The loss of the record of the appointment 
to the command, the great popularity of some names, and the 
efforts of friends, doubtless contributed to making and keeping 
alive the erroneous impressions that have more or less pre- 
vailed. No friend of Colonel Prescott ever wrote a line, or 
took an affidavit or declaration, on the subject, to my know- 
ledge. General Dearborn's statement was wholly unknown to 
me till I saw it in print, and then I much regretted its appear- 
ance. It is a delicate and difficult task, as you observe, to 
distribute the honors of a battle among the leaders ; and it is 
more especially so when the rank of officers is unsettled, 
orders are wanting, and the action somewhat confused : but 
the principle you have adopted, to leave it to be determined 
by the parts acted by the different competitors, one would 
think, could not be complained of. I am particularly pleased 
with your just remarks on the effects of this battle. They 
ought not to be overlooked or forgotten. The Americans lost 


the field, it is true ; but they won a great moral victory, 

which was felt in every battle to the end of the war. It made 

the brave Howe a cautious, if not a timid, commander. 

I am, my dear sir, ever respectfully and very faithfully 


Wm. Prescott. 
The Rev. George E. Ellis. 

Mr. Deane read extracts from the manuscript journal 
of a tour made to the camp at Cambridge, in October, 
1775, by Dr. Belknap, who, at this time, resided at 
Dover, N.H. He stated that some passages from this 
journal — which is given below entire — had already ap- 
peared in the Memoir of Dr. Belknap, published in 1847. 

Journal of my Tour to the Camp, and the Observations I made 


Oct. 16. — I set out from home, and the next day arrived 
at Cambridge. 

Oct. 17. — This evening, two floating batteries, accompanied 
with some boats, went down Cambridge River in order to 
throw some shot into Boston, to alarm the regular army, and 
fatigue them with extraordinary duty, and also to endeavor to 
take a floating battery from them which lay near Boston Neck. 
They got within three-quarters of a mile of the bottom of the 
Common, and the firing began between nine and ten o'clock. 
They fired about seventeen shot into the town ; and then a 
nine-pounder in one of the batteries split : the cartridges took 
fire, and blew up the covering, or deck, on which several men 
were standing. Captain Blackley, of Marblehead, who com- 
manded the battery, had the calf of his leg shot off, and was 
blown, with several others, into the water. A Portuguese sailor 
was so badly wounded in the thigh, that he bled to death 
before morning; another had his arm broken, and is very 
dangerous ; four others were slightly wounded. The battery 


was much shattered, and partly sunk. They towed her up the 
river by morning. This manoeuvre is not generally approved 
by thinking people: it seemed to be rather a military frolic 
than a serious expedition. The camp appears to be a scene 
of wickedness. The oaths and execrations of the men that 
went on this frolic were horrid and dreadful. 

Oct. 18. — In the afternoon, I rode to Milton. 

Oct. 19. — It being foul weather, I was hindered from taking 
a view of the lines. Visited several friends, and rode to Rox- 
bury. Lodged at Mr. Robert Pierpoint's, where General Ward 
resides. In conversation with Mr. Josh. Ward, aide-de-camp 
to the general, I found that the plan of independence was be- 
come a favorite point in the army, and that it was offensive to 
pray for the king ; that the Continental Congress had prepared 
a league offensive and defensive between the several Colonies, 
which was to take place if the king should reject the Con- 
tinental petition. (This agrees with Church's letter.) In this 
league, it is stipulated that each Colony shall have such a 
form of government as they shall choose ; and that an annual 
Congress of the whole continent shall assemble by turns in 
each Colony, so that they may be the better acquainted 
with each other, and the people with them. 

Oct. 20. — By desire of Mr. Mansfield, the chaplain, I prayed 
with General Thomas's regiment, quartered at Roxbury ; and 
afterward visited the lines in company with an officer of the 
picket-guard. Nothing struck me with more horror than 
the present condition of Roxbury : that once busy, crowded 
street is now occupied only by a picket-guard. The houses 
are deserted, the windows taken out, and many shot-holes 
visible. Some have been burnt, and others pulled down to 
make room for the fortifications. A wall of earth is carried 
across the street at Roxbury Burying-place, and extends to 
Williams's old house, where there is a formidable fort mounted 
with cannon. The lower line is just below where the George 
Tavern stood. A row of trees, root and branch, lies across the 


road there ; and the breastwork extends to Lamb's Dam, which 
makes a part thereof. I went round the whole, and was so 
near the enemy as to see them (though it was foggy and rainy) 
relieve their sentries, which they do every hour. Their out- 
most sentries are posted at the chimneys of Brown's house. 

After breakfast, came into General Ward's quarters several 
persons who had the preceding night made their escape from 
Boston; viz., Captain Mackay, Captain Conner, and Mr. Benja- 
min Hitchborn. Captain Mackay informed me that the regular 
troops in Boston were very thin in numbers and in flesh, and 
very much disheartened ; that, about a month ago, the troops 
at Charlestown were ordered out to take Prospect Hill; which 
caused a great uneasiness, and would have produced a mutiny 
had the matter been insisted on. The dispute was so high 
among the officers, that they fired shot at one another ; and a 
captain of marines cut his throat on the occasion. This affair 
they endeavored as much as possible to keep secret. General 
Gage sailed for England about a fortnight ago, and three ad- 
dresses were presented to him on his departure, — one from the 
council, another from the Boston Tories, and the other from 
the refugee Tories. A copy of these was brought out by Cap- 
tain Conner ; and also a copy of a commission given to Mr. 
Crean Brush to receive at Faneuil Hall such goods as should 
be delivered to him by any of the inhabitants for security, 
to be redelivered to them when the affairs should be settled. 
He also informs that the Haymarket, and a number of houses, 
&c, adjoining, had been taken down to make room for a canal 
which was cutting from one side of the town to the other, and 
that a very high barricade was building there also. 

Mr. Hitchborn's escape was very remarkable. He was taken 
in his passage from Rhode Island to Providence, being on 
a journey from Philadelphia, with the letters (page 25)* in 

* Dr. Belknap here refers to the page of the manuscript volume in which he was 
writing, where are " Copies of Letters from John Adams, Esq., Member of the Con- 
tinental Congress, intercepted by some of the King's Cutters, in Rhode-Island Bay, and 
published in Draper's Boston Paper, August, 1775." 


his pocket ; and had been confined on board the " Preston/' the 
admiral's ship, ever since. His lodging was in the gun-room ; 
and a sentry was appointed to guard him night and day, and 
every two hours in the night the officer of the watch looked 
into his cabin. He often took occasion to go upon deck, and 
as much about the ship as he could, at all hours of the day 
and night ; and made many observations on their strength and 
vigilance, from whence he imagines it would be no very diffi- 
cult matter to take them by a surprise. Being determined on 
an escape, he first tried to bribe the sentry, but found him 
proof against it ; then he tried a stratagem to get a boat. A 
young man belonging to the ship used to go out in a canoe 
to catch fish for the officers, who generally took the best ; 
and sometimes Hitchborn had the last chance. One day, he 
asked the young man to let him have the first picking, and 
desired him to bring his canoe under the port-hole which was 
near his berth; which he promised to do. He accordingly 
came on Wednesday afternoon : and Hitchborn invited him 
to drink tea with him ; amusing him all the time with an 
account of an experiment he wanted to make, by letting down 
a tight-corked bottle into the water, which, at a certain depth, 
would be broken by the pressure of the water against it. The 
young man promised to join with him in making the experi- 
ment ; but, it then growing dark, they agreed to postpone it 
till the morning, and to let the canoe remain at the said port. 
This point being gained, the next difficulty was to elude the 
sentry. Hitchborn went to his cabin, which had a piece of 
sennet, or network of ropes, before it, about breast-high ; and 
at the end of the network was the door or passage into the 
cabin. Before this network the sentry walked, the space of 
six or eight feet, backward and forward. Hitchborn, having 
packed up his small bundle of clothes, feigned sleep, and 
lay with his head at the end of the network; observing the 
sentry till he found the fellow was deeply engaged in his 
walk, and had taken a fresh cud in his mouth. He then 


gently slipped along, and got under a gun, where he lay a 
minute or two, till he found the sentry was not alarmed, 
but still kept on his walk. Then he got into the berth of 
an officer whom he knew to be ashore, and from thence de- 
scended through the port-hole into his canoe. It being dark 
and rainy, he got off undiscovered, and shaped his course, 
as near as he could judge by the wind, for Dorchester Neck ; 
where in about two hours he arrived, and soon after found 
our guards. 

He tells me there had been a great misunderstanding be- 
tween General Gage and Admiral Graves, — the latter being 
a rough, boisterous man ; that he was treated very cruelly 
while on shipboard, except by one or two ; that Governor 
Wentworth sailed for England about three weeks ago, soon after 
his return from the Isle of Shoals. This was a mistake * 

Mr. Mansfield informed me that it has been discovered, 
by means of a captain of a man-of-war who was stationed at 
Nantasket, that General Gage's plan, in the spring, was to call 
an assembly to deliberate on Lord North's proposal, and, before 
they met, to destroy the magazine at Concord ; the troops, on 
their return, to be reinforced, and to halt on Cambridge Com- 
mon, where they were to encamp and fortify themselves, 
after destroying the colleges, meeting-house, and other build- 
ings. This, it was imagined, would strike a terror into the 
country, and induce them to send their representatives with 
instructions to submit ; and they were to be kept prisoners in 
Boston till they had made such a compliance as would be 
acceptable. How much of this plan is true, I cannot deter- 
mine ; but, happily, it has never taken place. 

After dining with General Ward, I returned to Cambridge. 
In the evening, visited and conversed with General Putnam. 
Ward appears to be a calm, cool, thoughtful man ; Putnam, a 
rough, fiery genius. 

The last sentence was written subsequently to the rest of the paragraph. 



In conversation with Mr. Ward, of Roxbury, I learnt that 
the reason of our throwing up the intrenchments at Charles- 
town, on the night of the 16th June, was, that there had been 
intelligence received, such as could be depended on, that 
the regulars had determined to make a push for Cambridge 
after the arrival of their three generals (and reinforcements), 
who landed a few days before. That Dr. Warren was the 
last man in the trenches after they were forced; and died 
on the breastwork, with his sword in his hand. That his 
body was stripped naked, and buried so ; his coat was sold 
in Boston by a soldier for eight dollars ; his body was dug up 
several times, and buried again, to gratify the curiosity of 
those who came to see it. That divers persons were per- 
mitted to go from Boston over to Charlestown to view the 
field of battle. 

By Capt. Mackay, I learnt that the shot fired into Boston 
from the floating-battery struck the tents on the Common, 
and killed one man ; also the manufactory-house, which is an 
hospital, which occasioned the removing of the sick ; also the 
Lamb Tavern and Martin Brimmer's house. That both the 
troops and inhabitants were thrown into great consternation, 
expecting our army were making an assault upon them. 

Oct. 21. — Detained at Cambridge all day by the rain. Met 
General Sullivan ; who told me he was ordered to Portsmouth 
on the report of the destruction of Falmouth, and that Gene- 
ral Lee was ordered to Rhode Island to defend them. Dined, 
by invitation, with Mr. Mifflin, Quartermaster-general: the 
company present were Dr. Franklin, Mr. Lynch of Carolina, 
and Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a Committee from the Con- 
gress to settle a plan with the generals for a new army, to be 
kept up till December, 1776) ; General Lee, Adjutant-General 
Gates, Colonel Reed, and Mr. Baylor (Aids-de-Camp to Gene- 
ral Washington) ; Lieutenant-Governor Griswold and Judge 
Wells of Connecticut, and Mr. Leonard, chaplain. General 
Lee is a perfect original, a good scholar and soldier, and an 


odd genius ; full of fire and passion, and but little good man- 
ners ; a great sloven, wretchedly profane, and a great admirer 
of dogs, — of which he had two at dinner with him, one of 
them a native of Pomerania, which I should have taken for 
a bear had I seen him in the woods. A letter which he wrote 
General Putnam yesterday is a copy of his odd mind. It 
is, as nearly as I can recollect, as follows ; being a letter of 
introduction of one Page, a Church clergyman : — 

" Hobgoblin Hall, Oct. 19, 1775. 

" Dear General, — Mr. Page, the bearer of this, is a Mr. Page. 
He has the laudable ambition of seeing the great General Putnam. I 
therefore desire you would array yourself in all your majesty and 
terrors for his reception. Your blue and gold must be mounted, your 
pistols stuck in your girdle ; and it would not be amiss if you should 
black one half of your face. 

" I am, dear general, with fear and trembling, your humble servant, 

"Charles Lee." 

This Page is suspected by some to be a spy, as he has a 
plan of the lines, and is bound to England. At table, the chief 
talk was about the best men for soldiers. General Lee said 
the Portuguese had the best materials for soldiers, if they 
were well disciplined ; but that the Turks of Asia Minor were 
the stoutest men in the world. Adjutant-General Gates, who 
is an experienced officer, said he never desired to see better 
soldiers than the New-England men made. All joined in exe- 
crating the Irish. Many of the riflemen are of this nation, 
who are continually deserting to the enemy. Lynch, Harrison, 
and Wells wished to see Boston inflames. Lee told them it was 
impossible to burn it, unless they sent men in with bundles 
of straw at their backs to do it. He said it could not be done 
with carcasses and hot-shot; and instanced Isle Royal, in 
St. Lawrence River, which was fired at in 1760, a long time, 
with a fine train of artillery, hot-shot, and carcasses, without 
effect. General Washington was to ha^e been at this dinner ; 


but the weather prevented. He is said to be a very amiable 
gentleman ; cool, sensible, and placid, and a resolute soldier. 
I had no opportunity to see him. 

Oct. 22. — Preached all day in the meeting-house. After 
meeting, I was again told by the chaplain that it was disa- 
greeable to the generals to pray for the king. I answered, 
that the same authority which appointed the generals had 
ordered the king to be prayed for at the late Continental Fast ; 
and, till that was revoked, I should think it my duty to do it. 

Dr. Appleton prayed in the afternoon, and mentioned the 
king with much affection. It is too assuming in the generals 
to find fault with it. 

Oct. 23. — Mr. Mifflin assured me there was no design to 
make an assault upon Boston very soon, and that it would not 
be done unless it was found that nothing else could be done. 
Flat-bottomed boats are preparing, which will carry sixty or 
seventy men at once. Barracks are also building for the 
army's winter quarters. The army is healthy, and well sup- 
plied. I visited the works at Prospect Hill. The weather 
being hazy, I had not so good a view as I could wish ; but I 
could see the enemy's lines and buildings at Bunker Hill, and 
the desolation at Charlestown. Visited also the works at 
Ploughed Hill and Winter Hill, and set out on my return. 
At night, got to Haverhill, where the rains had caused a 
great flood in Merrimack River. Vast quantities of wood 
floated down, which was eagerly seized by the people along 

Oct. 24. — Got home, and found the town full of Portsmouth 
people, who have been moving with their effects ever since 
the destruction of Falmouth, apprehending the same fate. 

Oct. 25. — Mr. Waters informed me, that the design of the 
regular troops, when they marched out of Boston the night 
of April 18, was discovered to Dr. Warren by a person kept 
in pay for that purpose. That they had a design upon the 
stores at Concord the week before, and dressed victuals for 


their men ; but, by the dressing an extraordinary quantity in 
the barracks, the design was discovered. They then marched 
out only as far as Watertown, as they had frequently done 
before in the day-time, for an airing, and returned before 
night. But, on the night of April 18, they took every imagi- 
nable precaution to prevent a discovery. Their meat was 
dressed on board a transport-ship in the harbor. Their men 
were not apprised of the design, till, just as it was time to 
march, they were waked up by the sergeants putting their 
hands on them, and whispering gently to them ; and were 
even conducted by a back-way out of the barracks, without 
the knowledge of their comrades, and without the observa- 
tion of the sentries. They walked through the street with 
the utmost silence. It being about ten o'clock, no sound was 
heard but of their feet : a dog, happening to bark, was in- 
stantly killed with a bayonet. They proceeded to the beach 
under the new powder-house, — the most unfrequented part of 
the town ; and there embarked on board the boats, which had 
their oars muffled to prevent a noise, and landed on Phips's 
Farm, where they were met by the infamous Capt. Beeman, 
and conducted to Concord. 

Notwithstanding all this secrecy, the following circum- 
stances contributed to their discovery. Numbers of people 
were jealous, and kept a vigilant eye upon them. It was 
observed, that, two days before, general orders were given 
out that the light infantry and grenadiers should be excused 
from duty. The boats were observed to be launched from 
the transports. In the afternoon of April 18, an uncommon 
number of officers were seen walking up and down the Long 
Wharf; and a party of nine rode out of town with their blue 
surtouts, and passed through Cambridge just before night, 
riding very slowly; and, being followed by a person who 
suspected some bad design, they damned him, and told him 
not to keep so near them. Late in the evening, a light-infantry 
man was seen in a retail shop with his accoutrements on. 


These circumstances being communicated to Dr. Warren, he 
applied to the person who had been retained, and got intelli- 
gence of their whole design ; which was to seize Adams and 
Hancock, who were at Lexington, and burn the stores at Con- 
cord. Two expresses were immediately despatched thither, 
who passed by the guards on the Neck just before a sergeant 
arrived with orders to stop passengers. Another messenger 
went over Charlestown Ferry ; so that the alarm was given 
several hours before the troops arrived at Lexington. 

Mr. Livermore exhibited, amongst several relics inti- 
mately associated with Washington and his times, two 
volumes — once owned by the family of Washington 
— containing the autographs of Washington's father 
and mother, together with that of their distinguished 
son at the early age of thirteen years. The same 
gentleman also offered for examination the Manuscript- 
journal and Letter-book of General Rainsford, the 
British Commissary for embarking the Hessians from 
Germany to America. It is a thick folio volume, bound 
in parchment ; and was kindly supplied by Henry Ste- 
vens, a Corresponding Member of this Society. 

Mr. Everett was called upon by the President to 
make some statement to the Society relative to the pre- 
paration and delivery of his discourse " On the Character 
of Washington." He observed, that, in pursuance of 
the request of the Chairman of the Standing Committee 
(Mr. Livermore), he had drawn up such a statement 
very hastily; that he hoped other gentlemen present 
would favor the Society with such remarks as the oc- 


casion naturally prompted, relative to the day, to the 
interesting spot where we are assembled, and the asso- 
ciations connected with it; and if, at the close of the 
evening, there should still remain a little time for that 
purpose, he would then cheerfully submit the statement 
alluded to. This was done by Mr. Everett, at a later 
hour in the evening, substantially in the following 
terms : — 

The first proposal for the purchase of Mount Yernon by 
private subscription, as far as I am aware, was made, four years 
ago, by Miss Ann Pamela Cunningham, a native of South 
Carolina, of a Yirginia family on the mother's side ; and to 
her zeal, perseverance, and energy is mainly to be ascribed 
whatever success has attended the movement. This most 
estimable lady, under the signature of " A Southern Matron,' 7 
which she has retained till very lately, published, in the year 
1853, an address to the women of the United States, calling 
upon them to engage in a general effort for the purchase of 
Mount Yernon. Somewhat later, and in consequence of this 
address, an association of ladies was formed in Yirginia for 
the promotion of this object, with branches in several of the 
other States, principally at the South. The payment of 
a dollar was the condition of membership ; and in this way a 
considerable fund was raised. 

Such was the state of things, when, in the autumn of 1855, 
I was requested by the Chairman of the Lecture Committee 
of the Boston Mercantile-Library Association (Mr. Charles G-. 
Chase) to deliver the introductory, or some other, lecture in 
their approaching course. But it was not in my power to 
comply with this request. It occurred to me, however, soon 
after, that the next winter would complete a century since the 
first of three visits made by Washington to Boston, — viz., in 
1756, 1776, and 1789; and that this circumstance would furnish 


an appropriate occasion for a commemorative discourse on the 
22d of February ; particularly if 7 on examination, it should turn 
out that Washington passed his birthday in the year 1756 at 
Boston ; which, however, did not prove to be the case. The 
general subject grew upon me as I reflected upon it ; and I 
determined at length to propose to the Lecture Committee of 
the Mercantile-Library Association, that they should celebrate 
the next anniversary of the birthday of Washington, offering to 
prepare for that occasion a discourse upon his character, the 
proceeds to be applied to some commemorative purpose. I 
intended, at this time, to treat the subject very much in its 
historical aspects, and in connection with the three visits to 
Boston already referred to. This offer was readily accepted, 
and the proposed celebration was announced in the Boston 

About this time, I received an invitation to deliver an 
address before some society in Richmond, Va. ; I think, the 
Young Men's Christian Association. So numerous are the 
invitations received by me to deliver public addresses and 
lectures, that, to avoid the difficulty of making discriminations, 
I am obliged, generally speaking, to excuse myself altogether. 
I accordingly did so on this occasion ; but having accidentally 
seen a short time before, in the " National Intelligencer," some 
notice of the organization and objects of the " Ladies' Mount- 
Yernon Association," I offered to repeat at Richmond, for the 
benefit of that institution, the discourse on the character of 
Washington, which I was under engagement to prepare for 
the Boston Mercantile-Library Association on the ensuing 
22d of February. This offer was readily accepted ; and this 
was the commencement of the repetition of my discourse for 
the benefit of the Mount -Yernon Fund. 

In the course of the autumn of 1855, I received invita- 
tions to deliver addresses before a Young Men's Society at 
New Haven, the Mercantile-Library Association at New York, 
and the Maryland Institute at Baltimore. Having declined 

1858.] mr. Everett's oration on Washington. 89 

previous invitations from these places, for the reason above 
given, I felt disposed to accept those extended to me this 
season, and to repeat the discourse on the character of Wash- 
ington ; that being a subject of equal interest throughout the 
Union. It is true, that, to fit it for repetition in the several 
places named, it would be necessary, in the treatment, wholly 
to abandon my original plan of dwelling in detail on Wash- 
ington's three visits to Boston, and of deriving the main 
interest of the discourse from the successive developments 
and manifestations of his character in the events connected 
with those visits. Such a treatment of the subject would be 
likely to command the sympathy of a Boston audience, but 
would, in the same degree, have made the discourse less 
fitting for repetition elsewhere. I determined, therefore, after 
accepting the invitations to repeat the address at Richmond, 
New Haven, New York, and Baltimore, to give up the original 
conception, and, after a brief allusion to the three visits of 
Washington to this part of the country, to devote the rest 
of the discourse to an attempted delineation of his character. 

The announcement in the newspapers of the several en- 
gagements just named attracted some attention in other places, 
and I began to receive invitations to repeat the address from 
various parts of the country. But the idea of an extensive 
repetition for the benefit of the Mount-Vernon Fund had 
not yet occurred to me ; nor had I, when the discourse was 
delivered for the first time in the Music Hall in Boston, on 
the 22d of February, 1856, formed any positive engagement 
to repeat it, beyond those already mentioned. For the same 
reason, I made no stipulation relative to the appropriation of 
the proceeds of the address at New Haven, New York, and 
Baltimore ; at all which places the audiences were large and 
the receipts considerable, but, for the reason stated, not appro- 
priated to the Mount-Vernon Fund. 

The Committee of the Mercantile-Library Association in 
Boston having asked my advice as to the manner in which 



the proceeds of the original delivery of the discourse under 
their auspices should be expended, I recommended that a 
copy of Stuart's full-length portrait of Washington, in civilian's 
dress, should be procured for the hall of the association ; 
which was done. The portrait painted by Stuart for the 
State House at Newport was admirably copied by the late 
lamented Mr. Hoyt. In addition to this, a copy by Howorth 
of the fine head of General Hamilton by Trumbull, now in 
the possession of Hon. R. C. Winthrop, was also procured 
for the hall of the association. These paintings, with their 
frames, cost between eight and nine hundred dollars. 

The Mercantile-Library Association of New York appro- 
priated the net proceeds of the discourse, which was delivered 
before an immense audience in the Academy of Music, to the 
purchase of books for their library. The proceeds at Balti- 
more passed into the treasury of that excellent institution : 
but its directors liberally gave me one hundred dollars for my 
expenses ; which, however, I paid over to the Mount -Yernon 
Fund ; having, on that occasion, formed the resolution to which 
I have since adhered, — to pay over to that fund every dollar 
which should come into my hands for the repetition of the 
address, without any deduction by way of compensation or 
for the re-imbursement of expenses. 

I delivered the discourse for the fifth time at Richmond, 
Ya., on the 19th of March, 1856. This, as I have stated, 
was its first repetition for the benefit of the Mount -Yernon 
Fund ; and from that time to the present, with the exception 
of three instances of a particular character, the proceeds 
have been exclusively devoted to that object. Ex-President 
Tyler, Governor "Wise, and the Mayor of the city, were on the 
platform at Richmond, and addressed the audience at the close 
of my discourse. On the 21st of March, I repeated the ad- 
dress at Petersburg, Ya. ; and on the 25th, at the University of 
Yirginia, in the presence of the faculty and members of that 
institution. I had numerous invitations that spring to pro- 

1858.] mr. Everett's oration on Washington. 91 

ceed further South ; but it was out of my power at that time 
to accept any of them. Returning homeward, I repeated the 
discourse at Washington, on the invitation and in the presence 
of the Secretary of State (Hon. W. L. Marcy) and other 
members of the Cabinet, and several of the most distinguished 
members of Congress. On the 1st of April, I delivered it for 
the second time in Baltimore ; on the 4th of April, before a 
very large audience, in the Musical-Fund Hall in Philadelphia, 
by invitation of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, — the 
Hon. Richard Rush, Joseph R. Ingersoll, G-. M. Meredith, and 
other persons of distinction, being present. On the 7th of April, 
I spoke at Princeton, at the request of the faculty and stu- 
dents of New-Jersey College ; on the 8th, at Newark, N. J. ; 
and, on the 10th, at Brooklyn, N.Y., before a very crowded 
and enthusiastic assembly, in Plymouth Church ; returning to 
Boston the next day. I was absent, on this tour seven weeks, 
and gave the address, including its first delivery, thirteen 
times, nine times being for the benefit of the Mount -Vernon 
Fund, and with an aggregate net receipt of fifty-five hundred 
and five dollars fifty-four cents. This sum includes the one 
hundred dollars paid to me for expenses by the Maryland 
Institute ; and twenty dollars paid me, on the same account, 
by the Ladies' Mount-Vernon Association of Virginia, at 

After my return home in the spring of 1856, and beginning 
on the 16th of April, at Providence, R.I., in the presence 
of President Wayland and the faculty and students of Brown 
University, I repeated my address at Charlestown, on the 
30th of April ; at Springfield, on the 2d of May; at Cambridge- 
port, on the 6th ; at Worcester, on the 13th; at Salem, on the 
16th; at Hartford, on the 21st; and at Taunton, on the 30th 
of May. The aggregate net receipt from these eight repe- 
titions was two thousand four hundred and three dollars and 
nineteen cents. 

Having somewhat over-exerted myself this spring, after two 


years' intermission of public speaking, and taken a severe cold 
at Taunton, which affected my throat, I was obliged, for the 
present, to postpone other engagements. I did not again 
repeat my address till the 22d of February, 1857 ; when, on the 
invitation of the Mercantile-Library Association, I gave it for 
the second time in Boston, in the Music Hall, before a very 
large and distinguished audience. On the 17th and 19th of 
March, I repeated it at Albany, in the presence of President 
Fillmore, the Rev. President Nott, and Governor King, who 
presided on both occasions, and many members of the Legis- 
lature of New York. The net proceeds of these three repeti- 
tions were two thousand six hundred and seventy-five dollars 
and fifty-eight cents. 

In the third week of April, 1857, I went to St. Louis 
to deliver an address, on occasion of the inauguration of 
Washington University of the State of Missouri. On this 
occasion, I repeated my "Washington," on the 20th of April, by 
invitation of the Mercantile-Library Association, and on the 
25th by invitation of a committee of the citizens, of St. Louis, 
and in the presence of very large and respectable audiences. 
I then made a hasty circuit through the North-western States, 
delivering my address at Chicago, on the 28th and 29th ; at 
Detroit, on the 1st of May, on which occasion the Governor of 
that State, and Chancellor Tappan of the University, were 
present ; at Indianapolis, on the 4th, in the presence of the 
Governor, and Ex-Governor Wright ; at Cincinnati, on the 7th 
and 9th of May, in the presence of Governor Chase, Mr. Justice 
McLean, Mr. Senator Pugh, and many other eminent persons ; 
at Louisville, on the 12th and 13th. of May, in the presence, 
among others, of Mr. Secretary Guthrie, Hon. Humphrey 
Marshall, and Hon. Wm. Preston ; at Lexington, on the 14th, 
in presence of Yice-President Breckenridge, Judge Robertson, 
and other persons of eminence ; at Maysville, on the 15th 
(making four times, in four successive days, in parts of the 
State lying at some distance from each other) ; at Buffalo, on 


the 20th, in presence of Judge Hall of the United-States 
District Court, Hon. A. Tracy, and other distinguished per- 
sons ; at Utica, on the 21st, in presence of Ex-Governor 
Seymour and other prominent individuals ; and at Troy, on 
the 22d, in presence of Major-General Wool and other persons 
of distinction. In this tour of four weeks, I gave the address 
fifteen times. I spoke, however, once at Chicago, and once at 
Cincinnati, under former engagements' to address the Mercan- 
tile-Library Associations of those places, and not, consequently, 
for the benefit of the Mount -Vernon Fund. The aggregate 
net receipt of thirteen repetitions on this tour, for the benefit 
of the fund, was six thousand three hundred and ninety dollars 
eleven cents. 

In the summer and early autumn of 1857, beginning on the 
18th of June at Cambridge, I spoke, on the 23d, at Dartmouth 
College, in presence of the faculty and students of that insti- 
tution ; on the 29th, at Roxbury, Mass. ; on the 1st of July, 
at Amherst, in the presence of the faculty and students of 
the college at that place ; at Northampton, on the 2d of July, 
in the presence of Mr. Justice Dewey, Hon. Erastus Hopkins, 
Rev. President Allen, and other eminent persons ; on the 20th 
of July, at Newburyport; on the 27th, at Andover, in the 
presence of many of the professors and members of the Theo- 
logical Seminary and Academy in that place ; on the 29th, at 
Lawrence ; on the 6th of August, at Brunswick, before the 
faculty and students of Bowdoin College ; on the 7th, at 
Portland, in the presence, among other gentlemen of note, of 
Judge Shepley, Hon. C. S. Davies, &c. ; on the 10th, at Ban- 
gor, in presence of his Honor the Mayor, Governor Kent, 
&c. ; on the 17th and 24th, at Newport, in presence of Presi- 
dent Van Buren, Bishop Clark, Hon. Wm. B. Lawrence, Dr. 
King, &c. ; on the 2d of September, at Medford; on the 15th, 
at Fall River; on the 18th, at Nashua, N.H. ; on the 28th, at 
West Cambridge, Mass. ; on the 29th, at Woburn ; and on the 
30th, at Charlemont, N.H., in presence of Governor Metcalf 


and other prominent persons. Having engaged to deliver an 
address at Amherst College in the usual way, and being unable 
to keep the appointment, the repetition of the " Washington " 
at that place was gratuitous. The aggregate net receipt of 
eighteen repetitioDS on this summer tour was four thousand 
two hundred and sixteen dollars and eighty-two cents. 

Having occasion to go to Buffalo, in the first week of Octo- 
ber, to deliver an address before the New- York-State Agricul- 
tural Society, I availed myself of this opportunity to fulfil 
some engagements to repeat my address in the West. I 
gave it at Fredonia, in Chautauque County, N.Y., on the 8th 
of October ; at Ann Arbor, before the faculty and students of 
the University of Michigan, on the 12th; at Cleveland, Ohio, 
on the 13th; and at Erie, Penn., on the 14th. Returned 
home, I gave my address at Lowell, Mass., on the 22d of 
October ; at Concord, N.H., on the 23d ; at Gloucester, 
Mass., on the 26th; at Hingham, on the 28th; at Norwich, 
Conn., on the 11th of November, in the presence of Gover- 
nor Buckingham and other distinguished gentlemen ; at 
Fitchburg, Mass., on the 2d of December ; and at New Bed- 
ford, on the 29th, when I was introduced to the audience by 
Governor Clifford. The aggregate net proceeds for October, 
November, and December (eleven repetitions), were eighteen 
hundred and ninety-six dollars and sixty-eight cents. 

On the 11th of January of the present year (1858), I 
repeated the address at Portsmouth, N.H. Rev. Dr. Peabody, 
Editor of the " North- American Review," G. W. Haven, Esq., 
and Rev. Dr. Burroughs, &c, were of the audience. On the 
following day, I spoke at Augusta, Me., in presence of the Gov- 
ernor, and many members of the Legislature, of Ex-Gover- 
nor Bradbury, R. H. Gardiner, Esq., and other persons of 
eminence. On the 21st of January, by the invitation of a 
large number of the most distinguished citizens of New York, 
I gave the address for the second time in that city. It was 
delivered, as on the former occasion, in the Academy of Music. 


The officers of the Mercantile-Library Association kindly took 
charge of the arrangements. The audience, both for numbers 
and respectability, was of the most distinguished character. 
On the 23d, I returned to Boston. 

On the 4th of February, on the invitation of the Historical 
Society of Pennsylvania, I gave my address for the second 
time in Philadelphia. It was delivered before a magnificent 
audience, in the Academy of Music; Hon. H. D. Gilpin, a Vice- 
President of the Society, presiding. Bishop Potter, Judge 
Kane, and many other persons of distinction, were present. 
At the particular request of several persons of influence, 
I again repeated the address in the Academy of Music, for 
the third time in Philadelphia, on the 16th; the Chief-Justice 
of Pennsylvania presiding. On the 22d of February, I went 
to Richmond, by invitation of the commissioners for erecting 
Crawford's noble equestrian statue of Washington, to witness 
the interesting ceremonies of that occasion. On the following 
day, General Washington's cane was presented to me, and his 
spyglass to Mr. Yancey of Alabama, on behalf of the Ladies' 
Mount-Vernon Association, in acknowledgment of our services 
in aid of the Mount-Yernon Fund. The presentation took 
place in the theatre at Richmond, in presence of Governor 
Wise ; of the Governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, and 
Michigan ; of Lieutenant-General Scott ; of Major-General 
Persifer Smith ; of Mr. Senator Mason ; of Miss Cunningham, 
the Regent, and several of the other officers of the Ladies' 
Mount-Yernon Association ; and of a most distinguished and 
appreciative audience. After the ceremonial of presentation, 
I repeated the discourse on the character of Washington ; 
and again, at the African Church, at Richmond, on the 26th, 
William H. Macfarland, Esq., introducing me to the audience. 
Returning northward from Richmond, I repeated the ad- 
dress at Wilmington, Del., on the 8th of March, in the 
presence of the Mayor, Bishop Lee, and other distinguished 
gentlemen ; I. R. Latimer presiding. On the 10th, I spoke at 


Trenton, by invitation of the two houses of the Legislature of 
that State, in the presence of the Governor, many members 
of the Legislature, Judge Dayton, and other prominent citi- 
zens ; and was honored on the following day by a public 
reception by the two houses of the Legislature and the Court 
of Appeals of New Jersey. On the 12th of March, in pur- 
suance of an invitation signed by Governor Packer and every 
member of his administration, and by every member of the 
Legislature of Pennsylvania, I repeated the address at Harris- 
burg. The venerable Judge Wilkins, an active member of 
the Senate, was among the distinguished persons present. 
Again directing my course southward, I delivered my ad- 
dress at Alexandria, Va., on the 18th, — W. H. Fowle, Esq., of 
that city, presiding ; and, on the day following, at Fredericks- 
burg, in presence of Judge Lomax, Mr. Douglas Gordon, 
I. Horace Lacy, Esq., Colonel Tayloe, Dr. Philip Stuart, and a 
highly intelligent audience. These repetitions did not take 
place in a continuous absence from home. I had returned to 
Boston twice since leaving it for New York on the 20th of 
January. The aggregate receipt of twelve repetitions was 
seven thousand six hundred and ninety-three dollars fifty-four 

I was on my way to the South to make an extensive tour 
in that part of the Union, when letters from home made it my 
duty to return from Richmond to Boston. After remaining 
at home a short time, I found that I could again be absent 
without very great inconvenience ; and I accordingly went to 
New York, and took passage to Charleston on the 3d of April, 
arriving off the Bar on the afternoon of the 5th. Some mis- 
apprehension of the days on which I was to speak at Savan- 
nah and Augusta made it necessary that I should immediately 
proceed to the former place, where I spoke in the theatre, on 
the 7th of April; Bishop Elliot introducing me to the audience. 
On the 9th, I spoke at Augusta, in the presence of his Honor 
the Mayor, Hon. Mr. Jenkins, Colonel Berrien, and other 


persons of note. On the following day, I returned to Charles- 
ton, where I gave my discourse in the Hall of the Southern 
Institute, before a magnificent audience ; Governor Allston, 
Chancellor Dunkin, Hon. Charles Macbeth, Mayor of the city, 
and many other persons of eminence, especially the leading 
gentlemen connected with the press, occupying places on the 
platform. Hon. James L. Petigru introduced me to the audi- 
ence. On the 16th, I gave my address at Columbia; Hon. W. 
F. Dessaussure presiding. The audience was of the most 
distinguished character. The faculty of the College were 
present; but the institution itself was not in session. Hon. 
W. C. Preston, Kev. Dr. Thornwell, Dr. R. W. Gibbes, and 
Colonel Cunningham, were among the eminent persons pre- 
sent. The net proceeds of four repetitions of my address 
in South Carolina and Georgia were four thousand one hun- 
dred and eighty-six dollars twenty-eight cents. 

I was the next week to have spoken four times in Western 
Georgia; and then to have proceeded, by the way of Mont- 
gomery and Mobile, to New Orleans. I received, however, 
on the eve of my intended departure to keep these appoint- 
ments, letters from Washington informing me that the health 
of my son-in-law, Lieutenant Wise, of the United-States Navy, 
was such as to require a voyage to Europe. I felt it my duty 
to return immediately to Washington to take leave of my 
daughter and her husband before their departure. Having 
accomplished this, I returned to Virginia to fulfil a few 
engagements in that State, which I had been obliged to 
postpone on my unexpected return to Boston in March. 
I arrived at Lynchburg on the 3d of May, in pursuance 
of a long-standing invitation from the citizens of that place. 
I was received by Judge Wilson on behalf of the citizens, 
and by a military escort composed of the Cadets of the 
College. On the 4th, my address was delivered in Dudley 
Hall to a fine audience; John M. Speed, Esq., presiding. 
On the following day, I went to Lexington ; where, on the 



6th inst., I repeated the address before the officers and 
members of Washington College, of the Virginia Military 
Institute, and a favoring audience. I devoted the following 
day to an excursion to the Natural Bridge ; the only time I 
have taken for a purpose of personal recreation while moving 
from place to place to repeat my address. On the 10th of 
May, I gave it for the second time at the University of Vir- 
ginia, in the presence of the faculty and students of that 
seminary, and a crowded audience from Charlottesville and the 
neighboring country. On the 14th, I repeated the address at 
Norfolk, in the presence of the Mayor of the city, Hon. G-eorge 
Loyall, Professor Tucker, Tazewell Taylor, Esq., and a very 
large audience. The aggregate receipts of these four repeti- 
tions were two thousand sixty-four dollars twenty-five cents. 

The sum total of the net receipts of eighty-two repetitions 
for the benefit of the fund is a trifle over thirty-seven thou- 
sand dollars. I have also received, as already stated, one 
hundred and twenty dollars, kindly paid me by the Directors 
of the Maryland Institute, and of the Ladies' Mount-Vernon 
Association for the State of Virginia, on account of expenses ; 
the sum of eighty-one dollars thirty-eight cents, paid to me 
by Edward Wilcox, Esq., on behalf of the Ladies' Mount-Ver- 
non Association of Philadelphia ; one hundred dollars, as a 
donation, from Henry Farnum, Esq., of Chicago ; and fifty 
dollars, as a donation, from John Tisdale Bradlee, Esq., of 

The foregoing statement was, as has already been inti- 
mated, made to the Historical Society, at the request of the 
Chairman of the Standing Committee, at the meeting held on 
the 17th of June; 1858. The publication having been delayed, 
it may not be improper to continue the narrative to the 
present time. 

* Mr. Bradlee, in November, 1858, doubled this sum. 

1858.] MR. 

Finding myself somewhat exhausted by the exertions of 
the winter and spring, I spoke but once during the summer 
of 1858 ; viz., at Framingham, on the 6th of July, 1858. In the 
latter part of the month of September, I visited the western 
portion of New York, and spoke at Watertown, Binghamton, 
and Rome ; at the first two to large audiences, particularly at 
Binghamton, where many persons had assembled to attend 
the inauguration of the Asylum for Inebriates. I was intro- 
duced to the audience by Hon. D. S. Dickinson. The pro- 
ceeds of the three evenings were seven hundred and seventy- 
one dollars and seventy cents. 

On the 20th of October, I gave the address at Waltham, 
Mass., in presence of Governor Banks and other distinguished 
citizens ; on the 2 2d, at East Bridge water, Mass. ; on the 
25th, at Bridge water ; on the 27th, at Burlington, Vt., where 
I was introduced by President Wheeler; and at Montpelier, 
the following day, in the presence of Governor Hall, and the 
Legislature of the State, by whose invitation, conveyed in a 
joint resolution of the two houses, the address was repeated. 
On the 2d of November, I spoke at North Bridgewater ; and, 
on the 4th, at Haverhill, Mass., when I was presented to the 
audience by Hon. James H. Duncan. The proceeds of these 
seven evenings were one thousand eighty-three dollars ten 

On the 12th of November, I repeated the address for the 
third time in New York, in Niblo's Theatre, before a crowded 
audience, at the invitation of the Vice-Regent and Managers 
of the Ladies' Mount -Yernon Association for the State of 
New York. The net proceeds were nine hundred and ninety- 
two dollars and eighty-eight cents. 

On the 18th of November, I gave the discourse at Abing- 
don, and on the 26th at Weymouth, Mass. ; and the joint 
proceeds were three hundred and thirty-four dollars and 
seventy cents. 

On the 14th of December, I spoke at Canandaigua, in West- 


ern New York, when I was introduced to a numerous audience 
by Hon. Francis Granger; at Rochester, on the 15th, in pre- 
sence of President Anderson, General King, and other eminent 
persons, and to a full house ; and at Auburn, on the invitation 
of Rev. Dr. Cressy, Governor Seward, and other prominent 
citizens, on the 17th, also to a large audience. The proceeds 
of these three evenings were nine hundred and sixty-two 
dollars sixty-three cents. 

On the 22d of December, I had the pleasure, by invitation 
of the citizens of Plymouth, of delivering my address on that 
ever-memorable anniversary. I was introduced to a sympa- 
thizing audience by C. G. Davis, Esq. On the 24th, I spoke 
to a crowded house at Barnstable, at the invitation of a com- 
mittee, of which Major Phinney was the chairman. On the 
19th of January, 1859, I spoke at Brookline, Mass. ; when I 
was presented to the company, and to a crowded house, by 
Hon. A. A. Lawrence. The proceeds of these three evenings 
were five hundred and thirty-two dollars and forty-four cents. 
Fifty dollars were added to the fund, the following day, by 
G. B. Blake, Esq., a citizen of Brookline. 

Having occasion to go to Philadelphia, to repeat, in that 
city, a discourse delivered on the 17th, in Boston, on the 
" Early Days of Franklin," I gave my " Washington " by the 
way, at Middletown, Conn., on the 24th of January, and at 
New Britain on the 25th ; in both places, to full houses. The 
" Franklin " was delivered in the Academy of Music, on the 
27th, at Philadelphia; and, the following week, I repeated 
the " Washington " on five consecutive nights, in New Jersey, 
by invitation of the Vice-Regent of the Ladies' Mount-Vernon 
Association of that State, and of respectable committees in 
the several places where it was repeated : viz., at New Bruns- 
wick, on the 31st of January ; at Elizabeth, on the 1st of Feb- 
ruary; at Newark, on the 2d; at Plainfield, on the 3d; at 
Jersey City, on the 4th. At all these places, I was honored 
with large audiences. On the 7th of February, I spoke to an 


immense house, in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the Plymouth Church, 
by invitation of the Mercantile-Library Association of that 
city. The aggregate proceeds of these eight nights were 
twenty-eight hundred and eleven dollars and eighty-seven 

On the 4th March, being the anniversary of the day on 
which the Constitution of the United States became the 
supreme law of the land, I repeated my address for the fourth 
time in the city of New York, on the invitation of a large 
number of the most distinguished citizens, headed by his 
Honor Mayor Tieman. Much interest was given to the occa- 
sion by the attendance of the seventy-first regiment of New- 
York militia, under the command of Colonel Vosburg. I was 
introduced to the vast assembly by Hon. Luther Bradish, 
President of the Historical Society of New York. The net 
proceeds were thirteen hundred and ninety-nine dollars and 
four cents. On the 11th of March, I delivered my discourse 
to a fine audience in East Brooklyn; receipts, four hundred 
and forty-two dollars fifty cents. 

On the 21st of March, I spoke at Hopkinton, Mass. ; on the 
25th, at Middleborough ; on the 29th, at Newton, — to audi- 
ences large in proportion to the population of those places. 
The proceeds of the three evenings were four hundred and 
twenty-two dollars and seventy-five cents. 

Early in April, I made a journey to the South ; being under 
engagement to repeat my " Franklin " and " Washington " in 
several places, principally in Virginia and North Carolina. I 
gave the " Washington " at Wilmington, N.C., on the 11th of 
April, before an immense audience (to which I was presented 
by George Davis, Esq.) from that city and the neighboring- 
country; at Newbern, on the 12th, to a very full house, to 
which I was presented by Judge Darnell ; at Raleigh, on the 
14th, in presence of Governor Ellis, Senator Bragg, Judge 
Badger, George E. Mordecai, and other distinguished persons, 
and a very large assembly, in the Commons Hall of the Capi- 


tol ; at Chapel Hall, on the 14th, before the faculty and 
students of the University of North Carolina, and a very large 
audience, to which I was introduced by Governor Swain, the 
distinguished head of the university. On the 25th inst., I 
gave the address at Staunton, in Virginia, before a crowded 
audience, to which I was introduced by Hon. A. H. H. 
Stuart, in the large Hall of the Asylum for the Deaf, Dumb, 
and Blind. The net proceeds of these five evenings were 
thirty-three hundred and forty-three dollars and forty-four 
cents ; the proceeds at Wilmington alone being one thousand 
and ninety-one dollars and eighty cents, — the population of 
that city not exceeding, I believe, ten or twelve thousand. 

On the 12th of May, I repeated the address in the Academy 
of Music at Philadelphia, for the fourth time in that city, at 
the earnest request of the Vice-Regent of the Association 
for the State of Pennsylvania. I was introduced to the 
audience by Professor Coppee, of the University of Penn- 

On my return from my first excursion in 1856, having then 
several thousand dollars in hand (there being no immediate 
prospect of effecting the purchase of the Mount-Vernon Estate), 
I invested them to advantage, with the assistance of my much- 
esteemed business friend, the late Mr. John E. Thayer. As 
the amount was rapidly increasing, I was unwilling to retain 
it exclusively under my own control ; and I accordingly con- 
veyed the funds, by a formal deed of trust, to a Board of 
Trustees, consisting, besides myself, of Hon. George S. Hillard, 
and Messrs. John E. Thayer, Sidney Brooks, and Francis H. 
Peabody, Treasurer. On the decease of Mr. John E. Thayer, 
his brother, Mr. Nathaniel Thayer, the surviving partner of 
the banking-house, was chosen trustee in his place. Mr. 
Peabody has acted as Treasurer of the Board. The sums 
accruing from the repetition of my address, after the organi- 
zation of the trust, and before the contract for the purchase 
of Mount Vernon was concluded, were invested by the trus- 


tees. Since the purchase was made in March, 1858, the 
trustees have converted the invested funds advantageously 
into cash, and paid over the proceeds to George W. Riggs, 
Esq., of Washington, the General Treasurer of the Associa- 
tion. The sum so paid over at different times, amounts, in the 
aggregate, to fifty-three thousand three hundred and ninety- 
three dollars eighty-one cents. This sum includes interest 
on investments, and premium on stock sold. The proceeds of 
my last tour, amounting to thirty-three hundred and forty- 
three dollars and forty-four cents, remain in the hands of the 
trustees, uninvested, but bearing interest, and ready to be 
paid over. 

In the course of the last autumn, I entered into an en- 
gagement with the editor and proprietor of the " New-York 
Ledger," Robert Bonner, Esq., to furnish an article weekly 
for that paper for one year, in consideration of the sum of ten 
thousand dollars to be paid in advance to the Mount -Vernon 
Fund. No stipulation was made as to the subjects or the 
length of the articles. They have averaged from two and a 
half to three columns in length. The sum of ten thousand 
dollars was advanced by Mr. Bonner on receiving my letter of 
acceptance, and by me forthwith paid over to the Treasurer 
of the Fund. 

In the first of these articles, which were designated the 
" Mount-Vernon Papers," I invited the readers of the "Ledger" 
to transmit each the sum of fifty cents or more toward the 
augmentation of the Mount-Vernon Fund. A considerable 
number of persons, readers of the " Ledger," have responded 
to this call ; and other persons and individuals, fire-companies, 
Masonic and Odd Fellows' lodges, and companies of ladies 
and gentlemen uniting for the purpose, have transmitted larger 
or smaller donations. They have received in return a hand- 
some engraved receipt, containing vignettes of the river and 
garden fronts of Mount Vernon, and signed by the Chair- 
man and Treasurer of the Trust. The net amount received 


from this source is $2,929.94, and is included in the sum of 
$53,393.81, mentioned above, as having been paid over to the 
General Treasurer. The total amount received by me from 
all sources is $68,163.56; of which the sum of $4,769.75 is 
at present in the hands of the trustees, payable at sight to 
the order of the General Treasurer. 

I have greatly to regret that it has not yet been in my 
power to visit the Southern Western States of the Union ; 
from all of which (with the exception of Arkansas), as well as 
from Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, which I have also been 
unable to visit, I have been honored with invitations. Do- 
mestic circumstances of a painful nature have obliged me 
twice to turn back, when on the way to fulfil engagements in 
those parts of the Union, of whose interest in the cause I 
have received many intimations. I still promise myself the 
pleasure of visiting them at no distant period. 

In order to give a correct idea of the circumstances under 
which my " Washington " has been delivered, it may not be 
improper to state, that simultaneously with its repetition, 
commencing on the 22d of December, 1857, I delivered an 
"Address on Charity and Charitable Institutions," for the bene- 
fit of the Boston Provident Institution; which has since been 
repeated in different parts of the country fifteen times, with 
an aggregate net receipt, for the benefit of various charitable 
institutions, of about $13,500. On the 17th of January of the 
present year, I delivered an address on the " Early Days of 
Franklin/' at the invitation of the Association of the Franklin 
Medalists of the city of Boston ; which has since been re- 
peated at New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, and 
the University of Yirginia, yielding in the aggregate about 
four thousand dollars for the benefit of various charitable and 
public institutions. On the 7th of December, 1858, I pro- 
nounced a Eulogy on Mr. Thomas Dowse, before the Dowse 
Institute at Cambridgeport ; which was repeated on the 9th 
before the Massachusetts Historical Society ; yielding to the 

1858.] me. Everett's oration on Washington. 105 

two institutions about $1,500. The aggregate of sums realized 
in the various .ways above mentioned, and paid over to the 
Mount-Yernon Fund and sundry public and charitable insti- 
tutions, is about $87,000. If to this be added the proceeds 
of seven repetitions of the u Washington " not included in the 
above returns, four of which were to very large audiences, 
the sum total will not fall short of ninety thousand dollars. 

Having observed above, that no deduction from the sums 
which have come into my hands for the repetition of my 
" Washington " has ever been made in payment of my own 
expenses, I ought to add, that those expenses have been much 
reduced by the hospitality with which I have uniformly been 
received and treated, and by the liberality of the presidents 
or superintendents of railroads, and the proprietors or com- 
manders of steamboats. I have seldom lodged at a public 
house in any part of the country, while travelling to re- 
peat my address ; and I have, in most cases, been favored 
with free tickets in the railroad-cars and steamers. 

In the foregoing statement, hastily prepared at the request 
of Mr. Livermore, on behalf of the Standing Committee, and 
of the Hon. E. C. Winthrop, the President of the Society, I 
have briefly set down, in the most matter-of-fact style, the 
principal data relative to the preparation and delivery of the 
"Address on the Character of Washington." It has required 
the constant recurrence of the first person, which I regret, 
but which, from the nature of the case, could not be avoided. 
I have occasionally mentioned the names of persons of note 
introducing me to the audience, or otherwise present. They 
have generally been persons who fill, or have filled, public 
station, or who are otherwise conspicuous for age or position 
in the community. I have done this, partly to relieve the 
dryness of a bare list of times and places, and still more 
because these names will illustrate the fact, to me personally 
of a most agreeable nature, — and, I venture also to hope, of 
some public interest, — that the praises of Washington have 



been listened to with equal favor, by persons of all parties, in 
every section of the Union. Even in cases where a few 
expressions may have failed to command unanimous assent, a 
generous measure of approbation has been accorded to the 
spirit in which my discourse is conceived and executed. I 
ought also to add, with reference to the names of the indi- 
viduals which have been introduced in the manner alluded to, 
that it has been done in most cases from recollection, and 
without the aid of a contemporary memorandum ; that such 
an enumeration must of necessity be limited; and that names 
equally conspicuous and distinguished with those given, have 
no doubt, in many cases, been omitted. Had circumstances 
enabled it to be done by a person who could without indelicacy 
do it, a full report of the incidents connected with the repe- 
tition of this address, in different parts of the Union, would 
be a document of a somewhat peculiar character, and not 
without value, as illustrating the state of public sentiment in 
different parts of the country. For the favor with which it 
has been so extensively received, I would express in this way 
my heartfelt gratitude. 

Boston, May 19, 1859. 

The following note from Mr. Prescott was read by 

the President : — 

Beacon Street, June 15, 1858. 

My dear Winthrop, — It is as I feared. I find engage- 
ments have been made for transferring our household gods 
to Lynn on the 17th, and that I must forego the pleasure of 
being present at the festival of the Historical Society. It 
cannot fail to be a most agreeable one, considering the charac- 
ter of the company, and the stirring associations connected 
with both the time and the place chosen for the celebration. 

I trust that the clouds will have wept themselves away by 
Thursday, and will let the sun, so long a stranger, brighten 
your holiday. — Believe me ever faithfully yours, 

Wm. H. Prescott. 



The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, July 8, at noon, at their rooms in Tremont 
Street, Boston; the President, Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society ; the Wisconsin Historical 
Society; the City of Boston; Rev. Caleb D. Bradlee; Wil- 
liam H. Dennett, Esq. ; Samuel A. Green, M.D. ; L. A. 
Huguet Latour, Esq. ; James Lenox, Esq. ; and from 
Messrs. Nathan Appleton, Livermore, and Winthrop, of 
the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary reported letters of 
acceptance from Hon. Richard Rush, as an Honorary 
Member, from Hon. George P. Marsh, Dr. Francis 
Lieber, and Richard Hildreth, Esq., as Corresponding 
Members, and from Hon. William Sturgis, and Leverett 
Saltonstall, Esq., as Resident Members, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated the fol- 
lowing letter from Rev. Charles Lowell, D.D., pre- 
senting to the Society a leaden inkstand cast by his 
distinguished predecessor, Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, D.D., 
in 1738. 

Elmwood, June 24, 1858. 
My dear Friend, — If I had been aware of the meeting 
of the Historical Society at Cambridge, I should certainly 
have done myself the pleasure of attending, and have 
brought with me a leaden article, — not a bullet from 
Bunker Hill, but an inkstand run by my distinguished prede- 


cessor ; who did not a little to contribute, by the ink he used, 
to the transactions of the eventful 17th of June. As it is, I 
propose to send this article, which was given me on Martha's 
Vineyard, the birthplace of Mayhew, and was made by him 
in 1738, when he was only eighteen years old. When shall 
I send, that you may present it at your next meeting from 
one who has been a member of the Society for nearly half a 
century, and successively its Recording and Corresponding 
Secretary for more than thirty years? 

Very affectionately your friend, 

Charles Lowell. 
Joseph Willard, Esq. 

Hon. William Appleton and Rev. Alonzo H. Quint 
were unanimously elected Resident Members. 

The President read a letter from the Corporation of 
Harvard College, requesting permission to copy, for the 
use of the college, the portrait of Governor Gore in 
the possession of the Society. 

On motion of Mr. Livermore, it was Voted, That in 
the present instance, and also in all similar cases of 
application to copy original portraits belonging to the 
Society, the Standing Committee be authorized to grant 
leave, under such conditions as they may deem necessary 
or expedient. 

The President called the attention of the Society to 
two paintings — one a portrait of Lafayette, the other 
of Cortez — which had recently been cleaned and 
restored by Mr. Howorth in a manner highly creditable 
to him, and without expense to the Society. Where- 
upon it was, at the suggestion of the President, unani- 
mously Voted, That the thanks of the Society be pre- 
sented to Mr. Howorth for the valuable service he has 


gratuitously rendered in cleaning and retouching the 
portraits of Lafayette and Cortez. 

The President submitted printed documents (circu- 
lars) from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 
proposing a union of the leading Historical and Anti- 
quarian Societies of the country to memorialize Congress 
for a grant of lands for the benefit of the United States. 
Referred to the Standing Committee. 

Mr. Warren submitted the following Report : — 

The Committee to whom were referred the manuscript me- 
moirs of the late Rev. Dr. Pierce, report, that a large part of 
the volumes have been examined by a portion of the Commit- 
tee, and are found to be marked by the well-known character- 
istics of Dr. Pierce, — diligence and accuracy, kindness, and 
great catholicity of feeling. These manuscripts are of great 
value as a repository of facts and dates, as embracing a valua- 
ble current ecclesiastical and theological history of the time 
during which Dr. Pierce was in the ministry, and as containing 
interesting and discriminating portraitures of the characters 
of very many distinguished clergymen and laymen. 

The Committee find no reason why the volumes should not 
be open to the inspection of the members of the Society. 

The Committee ask to be discharged from the further 
consideration of the subject. 

C. H. Warren, per order. 

The Report was accepted, and the volumes are open 
to the inspection of the Society; it being understood 
that the prohibition in regard to extracts, made by Dr. 
Pierce, and already established by the Society, does not 
extend to a name, a date, or a fact, — either of which 
may be copied. 


Mr. Deane stated that he had recently noticed among 
the papers of Dr. Belknap a document relating to the 
formation of the Society, which might be interesting to 
the members. It was a memorandum in the handwriting 
of Dr. Belknap, which furnishes additional evidence of 
his agency in the projection and establishment of this 
Society. From a record in the beginning of the first 
Letter-book of the Society, it is known that five persons 
met some time in the year 1790, and agreed to form an 
Historical Society ; and it has been said that each agreed 
to bring one person to the next meeting, for the purpose 
of organization. The record alluded to gives the names 
of the five persons who "first associated in 1790," and 
also of those " elected by them, each nominating one." 
The first meeting at which the Society was instituted 
was held Jan. 24, 1791, at the house of Mr. Tudor. 
The Records say that the persons present agreed to 
consider this the first meeting, and proceeded to orga- 
nize. It appears that but eight of the ten who had 
agreed to associate were present at this meeting; but 
Messrs. Baylies and Minot, who were absent, were con- 
sidered as present or associating, — the latter being 
elected a member of the Standing Committee. 

Mr. Deane then exhibited and read the paper to 
which he had alluded. It is a rough draught of a consti- 
tution, with erasures and interlineations, drawn up prior 
to the informal meeting of the first five in 1790 ; and is 
probably the earliest document extant relative to the 
formation of the Society. This paper is labelled, "Plan 
for an Antiquarian Society, August, 1790." Having 
been read by Mr. Deane, it was ordered that it should 


be copied into the Records of the Society. It is as 
follows : — 

A Society to be formed; consisting of not more than seven 
at first, for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and commu- 
nicating the antiquities of America. 

Admissions to be made in such manner as the associated 
shall judge proper ; the number of members to be limited. 

A President, Eecording and Corresponding Secretary, 
Treasurer, Librarian, and Cabinet-keeper, to be appointed. 

Each member to pay at his admission, and yearly. 

This and other money to be applied to promoting the objects 
of the Society. 

Each member, on his admission, shall engage to use his 
utmost endeavors to collect and communicate to the Society, 
manuscripts, printed books and pamphlets, historical facts, 
biographical anecdotes, observations in natural history, spe- 
cimens of natural and artificial curiosities, and any other 
matters which may elucidate the natural and political his- 
tory of America from the earliest times to the present day ; 
and — 

All communications which are thought worthy of being 
preserved shall be entered at large in the books of the Society, 
with an index, and the originals kept on file. 

Letters shall be written to gentlemen in each of the United 
States, requesting them to form similar Societies ; and a cor- 
respondence shall be kept up between them, for the purpose 
of communicating discoveries and improvements to each 

Each Society through the United States shall be desired, 
from time to time, to publish such of their communications as 
they may judge proper ; and all publications shall be made 
on paper and in pages of the same size, that they may 
be bound together ; and each Society so publishing shall be 

* The word " improvements " is erased. 


desired to send gratuitously to each of the other Societies 
one dozen copies, at least, of each publication. 

Quarterly meetings to be held for the purpose of commu- 
nicating ; and, in this State, the quarterly meetings shall be 
held on the days next following those appointed for the meet- 
ings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

When the Society's funds can afford it, salaries shall be 
granted to the Secretaries and other officers. 

Persons to compose the first meeting : William Tudor, Esq., 
Rev. John Eliot, Rev. Peter Thacher, James Winthrop, Esq., 
Jere. Belknap.* 

Mr. Brooks offered some remarks on the origin of 
the name of the town of Medford, tracing it through the 
Cradock Family — the original owners of the plantation 
on the Mystic River — to the manor of Metford, in 
Staffordshire, England, also owned by the same family. 
The change from Metford to Medford, Mr. Brooks said, 
could not be explained. The name was written in dif- 
ferent ways in the town-records, but, since 1715, was 
invariably spelt as at the present time. 

Mr. Washburn presented to the Society, for its cabi- 
net, a six-dollar note of the old Continental money, 
dated 1775. 


The stated meeting of the Society, for August, was 
held this day (Aug. 11), in the cottage of Mr. Tudor, 
at Nahant. The meeting was called to order by the 
President at eleven and a half o'clock, a.m. 

* The name of "Hon. S. Adams, Esq.," is the first on the list, but is erased. 

1858.] MEETING AT MR. TUDOR's. 113 

Hon. Thomas G. Cary, and S. F. Haven, Esq., were 
unanimously elected Resident Members. 

After the usual order of business had been gone 
through with, the President said he felt sure that no 
apology need be offered in behalf of the officers of the 
Society for calling this meeting a day in advance of 
the stated time, after appointing it in this unaccustomed 

It was not, indeed, altogether new in our history for 
the Society to make an excursion to some of the neigh- 
boring shores or islands. Our journals contained the 
record of at least one such excursion, a great many years 
ago, when the scene of Bartholomew GosnokTs brief 
abode on one of the little islands on the other side of 
the Cape was carefully explored, under the lead of the 
late excellent Judge Davis. And, earlier still in the his- 
tory of the Society, a formal meeting, he believed, was 
once held on Governor's Island, in Boston Harbor, with 
a view to examine the site and surroundings of one of 
the summer residences of Governor Winthrop in 1630. 
In later days, the enterprise of the members had been 
limited to an occasional visit to Cambridge. 

To one of these visits — namely, that to the residence 
of our valued associate, Mr. George Livermore — may, 
perhaps, be traced the first idea, in the mind of the late 
Mr. Dowse, of that munificent design which resulted in 
our possession of his noble library. 

Another of those visits — that to the old head-quarters 
of Washington, on the 17th of June last, by invitation 
of Mr. Longfellow — was too full of delightful associa- 



tions to be ever forgotten by any one who was privi- 
leged to be present at it. 

It could not be thought strange, therefore, in view of 
precedents and experiences like these, that the Standing 
Committee should have eagerly embraced the opportu- 
nity for another meeting of a similar kind, so kindly 
proposed to us by our worthy and liberal host; and 
that they should have willingly conformed to his con- 
venience in anticipating by four and twenty hours the 
regular time of the August meeting. 

The little peninsula on which we were gathered was 
not without an interesting history of its own. As early 
as 1614, the famous Captain John Smith included it in 
his survey of the New-England coast, delineating it un- 
mistakably on his map, though his description would* 
not be so easily recognized. It is as follows : — 

" The next I can remember by the name are the Matta- 
hunts, — two pleasant isles of groves, gardens, and cornfields, a 
league in the maine. The isles of Mattahunts are on the west 
side of the bay, where are many isles, and some rocks, that 
appear a great height above the water, like the Pieramides of 

A former member of this Society, Mr. Alonzo Lewis, 
says, that, " by the Mattahunts, he probably meant the 
Nahants, which he named the Fullerton Islands." Mr. 
Lewis had also told us, that, in 1622, "Nahantee" was 
granted by the council in England to Captain Robert 
Gorges, who came over the next year. Many other 
interesting and amusing particulars connected with the 
history of this place might be found in the little hand- 


book entitled the " Picture of Nahant," in which, of 
course, the far-famed sea-serpent was not forgotten. 

But, even if Nahant had no history before, our host 
himself had rendered it an historical place. It would 
be indelicate for the Chair to dwell at any length, in his 
own presence and beneath his own roof, upon the mar- 
vellous results of his persevering enterprise and unfail- 
ing liberality. The evidences were all around us, by 
every roadside, along every pathway, in every tree, shrub, 
plant. But the Society would be gratified if Mr. Tudor 
would give them, by and by, some little account of what 
he had attempted and accomplished during the third of 
a century since he entered on the work, and of the 
gradual processes by which " the groves and gardens 
and cornfields," which had so long and so hopelessly 
disappeared, had been once more restored to these 
seemingly bleak and barren rocks. 

Meantime, it would be pleasant to all of us to remem- 
ber, that this, our first meeting at Nahant, was under 
the roof of the son of one at whose house, in Boston, 
our Society held its original meeting sixty-seven years 

On the 24th of January, 1791, the first meeting of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society was held at the man- 
sion of Hon. William Tudor, and was attended by eight 
persons. Our future annals will bear witness, that not- 
withstanding the distance, and the menacing character 
of the weather, more than four times that number 
assembled at the house of Frederic Tudor, Esq., at 
Nahant, on the 11th of August, 1858. 

Nor will they fail to bear witness also to the great 


historical epoch at which this meeting was held. We 
were here in the very week, perhaps on the very day, 
perhaps at the very hour, when the first articulate mes- 
sage was passing from the sovereign of Great Britain 
to our own republican President, through the medium 
of that magical electric chain which had at last bound 
together the two hemispheres. It was an event to 
designate an era in the history of the world. 

The President, in concluding his introductory remarks, 
alluded playfully to the fact that other Sparks had just 
crossed the ocean, in advance of the action of the Elec- 
tric Telegraph, which they had all observed with the 
highest satisfaction; and he took the opportunity of 
welcoming, in behalf of the whole Society, their distin- 
guished Vice-President, Hon. Jared Sparks, on his return 
to the scene of his studies and honorable labors, and 
whom he rejoiced to see present on this occasion. 

Mr. Livermore, after referring to the great event of 
the week to which the President had alluded, read the 
following letter from Hon. Edward Everett, whom indis- 
position had kept from the meeting : — 

Boston, 10th August, 1858. 
My dear Mr. Livermore, — I have great pleasure , in com- 
pliance with the wish expressed in your note of this day, in 
sending to you, for the purpose of being exhibited at the 
meeting of the Historical Society, the accompanying speci- 
mens — four in number — of the " Atlantic Submarine Elec- 
tric Telegraph Cable." They were kindly presented to me by 
Captain Hudson, of the u Niagara \ " and they show the wires 
in the several successive stages of their preparation. A larger 
piece of the cable, given me by Mr. Peabody, is in the hands 
of a friend not living in Boston. 

1858.] LETTER FROM MR. EVERETT. 1 1 7 

I regret that the state of my health prevents my attending 

the meeting, and exhibiting these interesting objects in person 
to the Society, which will no doubt mark upon its records the 
great occurrence of the past week, as the most extraordinary, 
and, let us hope, the most auspicious, event in our recent 

It is just a century ago since Dr. Franklin, at the request 
of Professor Winthrop, of Harvard College (a relative, I 
believe, of our worthy President), sent a complete electrical 
battery, prepared in part with his own hands, to be used in 
the lectures on natural philosophy in that institution. This, 
I suppose, was the first occasion on. which the astonishing, 
and then recently observed, phenomena of electricity were 
systematically demonstrated at a place of education. We 
may be permitted to reflect with some satisfaction, as citizens 
of Massachusetts, that she has given birth to three persons 
so prominently connected as Franklin, Morse, and Field, with 
the origin and progress of this wonder-working science, and 
especially as the last two named with this its most marvel- 
lous application. 

Let us still more rejoice in the anticipation, that its bene- 
ficent results, of which it tasks the most creative imagination 
to conceive the extent, will redound to the advantage of all 

I remain, dear Mr. Livermore, with great regard, 
Your Friend and Associate, 

Edward Everett. 

In answer to the call of the President, Mr. Sparks 
gave an nnstndied relation of a few incidents of his 
recent visit to Europe, which he supposed might be of 
some interest to the meeting. At Florence, he had 
found valuable papers relating to Vespucius, which he 
had ordered to be transcribed, and should present to 


the Society. The members of the family of the distin- 
guished navigator, who, though not opulent, are in good 
circumstances, informed him, that, some years ago, they 
parted with an original portrait of their ancestor to an 
American gentleman, who avowed that he desired it 
for an American public institution ; and that it had 
been traced to New York, but that its present place of 
deposit is not known. It was a matter of deep regret 
to the family, that this original is not in our national 
halls. Copies of it represented the same melancholy 
face, and also the hand holding a map, which are seen 
in the picture in possession of this Society. 

Mr. Sparks spoke of the British State-paper Office, 
where there is a valuable collection of documents relat- 
ing to the early history of our country, which ought to 
be copied, especially at the present time, when the 
British Government are remarkably liberal in granting 
permission to students of history, and to all proper 
persons, to examine and transcribe whatever papers 
they may require. They simply require that the matter 
copied should be submitted to a responsible officer, and 
approved by him. He himself had found no difficulty 
in getting whatever he wanted. 

Mr. Sparks also found a commendable liberality in 
Holland. In France, the restrictions were greater. 

In concluding, Mr. Sparks spoke of our national 
reputation abroad. On the Continent generally, and 
especially in Paris, the United States were less favora- 
bly regarded. The Paris press and monarchists every- 
where were willing to magnify against us every thing 
disparaging to our free institutions ; such as partisan 

1858.] REMARKS OF MR. SPARKS. 119 

disputes, mobs, duels, and political troubles. The lied 
Republicans dislike the government of the United States, 
because the people have no more liberty ; the aristo- 
cratic circles, because we are a republic. In England, 
the case was different. There the United States are 
held in respect, as a nation worthy of being conciliated, 
and of being connected with England by closer ties, 
with a view of being a strong ally in future contests 
with absolutism. 

With regard to France, there are illustrious excep- 
tions, amongst men of science, to the remark he had 
just now made. As a striking illustration, he would 
read from the "Moniteur" of March 2, 1858, an extract 
from a paper read to the Academy of Sciences by Baron 
Charles Dupin, alluding to the State of Massachusetts. 


On the west of the Atlantic, Massachusetts, though small 
in territory, and incomparably less fertile than the basins of 
the Mississippi, the La Plata, and the Amazon, is made great 
by agriculture, and, above all, by industry. It takes the lead 
in science and art among the one hundred and twenty 
States of the New World. To its limited boundaries it adds 
two oceans. It sends towards the polar circles, to attack the 
huge cetacea, more seamen than all other nations put together. 
It seeks in Asia the treasures of the equatorial clime, and 
pays for the precious perfumes and spices of the torrid zone 
with the ice of its lakes. It compels its running waters, as if 
by magic, to become the servants of utility ; transforming its 
cataracts and rapids into obedient motive powers, rivals of 
steam. It is not enough for this State to found its noble 
University at Cambridge, to extend the boundaries of science, 
and add even stars to its conquests : it builds, at the same 


time, its Manchester, its Glasgow, its Leeds, and its Halifax. 
During the half-century which follows that which we de- 
scribe, it has been preparing, against the colossus of British 
industry, a struggle of giants. The struggle has already 
begun. New England braces herself to a second war of 
independence, and the conquest will be the independence of 
the arts. 

The President submitted from Hon. William Apple- 
ton an original circular, dated Boston, July 28, 1785, 
from James Bowdoin, Governor of Massachusetts, to 
the Governor of the State of Maryland, transmitting an 
Act of the Legislature of Massachusetts for the regula- 
tion of navigation and commerce. It is as follows : — 

Commonwealth or Massachusetts, 
Boston, July 28, 1785. 
Sir, — In compliance with the enclosed resolutions of the 
Legislature of this Commonwealth, I transmit for the perusal 
of your Excellency an Act passed in their last session for the 
regulating of navigation and commerce. This Act is in- 
tended as a temporary expedient, to prevent, as far as it is in 
the power of the Legislature of a single State, the effects of 
a system of commercial policy adopted by the British Gov- 
ernment, which, it is conceived, will be ruinous to the trade 
of the United States. That nation seems to build her hopes 
and expectations of carrying these plans into execution upon 
a supposed interference of commercial interests among these 
States, and a mutual jealousy arising therefrom, which will 
render it impracticable for them to agree to vest Congress 
with a sufficient power to regulate the trade of the United 
States. But such hopes must be grounded upon an antece- 
dent, and, I would hope, a mistaken opinion, that these States, 
in the time of their prosperity, have lost that sense of honor 
and justice, that mutual feeling of friendship and attachment, 


and, above all, that public virtue, and supreme regard to the 
interest and safety of the whole, which so powerfully actuated 
them in the day of common danger, and which will be ever 
essentially necessary, so long as they shall continue to be one 
great confederated Commonwealth. It highly concerns united 
sovereign States duly to attend to the ruling principles of all 
well-regulated societies ; and it concerns them the more, 
because they may be more apt than others to forget that 
the interest of individuals must be governed by that of the 

It is much to be desired that Congress may be vested with 
a we]l-guarded power to regulate the trade of the United 
States. This being effected, the Act of our Commonwealth 
will cease to operate. In the mean time, it is to be relied on 
that the mutual friendship and good-humor of the several 
States towards each other, their sentiments of honor and 
justice, will be a sufficient pledge, that, when measures wisely 
calculated to defeat the unjust designs of foreigners against 
the trade or general interest of the United States are taken by 
any individual State, they may be adopted by all ; so that no 
one State may be left to suffer essentially in its own trade by 
its laudable zeal and exertion for the common safety. 

I shall, from time to time, transmit to your Excellency such 
Acts of the Legislature of this Commonwealth as may regard 
the general interest of the confederacy, or that of your State 
in particular, and request you to oblige me with similar 

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem, sir, 
your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant, 

James Bowdoin. 
His Excellency the Governor of the State of Maryland. 

Mr. Tudor, at the request of the President, gave an 
interesting account of the origin and progress of his 



very successful attempts to promote the culture of trees, 
vegetables, and flowers, at Nahant, from the year 1825, 
when he commenced the building of his cottage. The 
difficulty was not in the soil, but in the driving and 
blighting winds ; from which having protected vegeta- 
tion, he was enabled to raise whatever he had planted. 

Mr. Tudor then conducted the members over his 
grounds, and through his fertile and beautiful garden, 
which gave evidence of what skill, perseverance, and 
taste can accomplish in an exposed and barren situa- 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, Sept. 9, at noon, at their rooms in Tremont 
Street, Boston; the President, Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Con- 
necticut Historical Society ; the Mercantile-Library 
Association; the New- York Agricultural Society; the 
Committee on the Map of Plymouth County; the Se- 
cretary of the State of Massachusetts ; the State Libra- 
rian of Ohio ; James L. Baker, Esq. ; James Lenox, 
Esq. ; J. Wingate Thornton, Esq. ; Samuel Batchelder, 
jun., Esq. ; L. A. Huguet Latour, Esq. ; Rev. Samuel C. 
Jackson ; Lieutenant J. M. Gilliss ; Rev. L. Tenney ; 
and from Messrs. Bowditch, Brigham, Lothrop, Robbins, 
Warren, and Winthrop, of the Society. 


George T. Curtis, Esq., and Richard H. Dana, jun., 
Esq., of Boston, were elected Resident Members of the 

Dr. Webb read extracts from a diary kept by a young 
lady visiting in Boston in the year 1774, giving a graphic 
and amusing picture of the social life of the Bostonians 
at that period. 

Mr. Warren presented an original letter of Governor 
Josiah Winslow, dated 27th June, 1675, to " Capt. 
Cud worth and Councell," advising a cheerful and 
friendly deportment towards the commanders and forces 
of the Massachusetts. 

The same gentleman also presented an original war- 
rant, signed by Thomas Mayhew, Justice of the Peace 
of the County of Plymouth, issued the fourteenth day of 
February, 1778, for the notification of certain persons, 
suspected of being inimical to the United States of 
America, to appear, and take the prescribed oath of 
fidelity and allegiance. 

Mr. Livermore presented to the Society, as a gift 
from William H. Kent, Esq., an original copy of a 
proclamation issued by Governor Saltonstall, of Connec- 
ticut, for a fast on account of an unusual drought, dated 
at New London, Aug. 4, 1714. He also presented 
from the same gentleman a manuscript sermon preached 
at Roxbury by the Rev. Amos Adams, successor to the 
Rev. Oliver Peabody. 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented 
to Mr. Kent for his acceptable contribution to its 



The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, Oct. 14, at noon, at their rooms in Tremont 
Street, Boston ; the President, Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, in the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Re cording Se- 
cretary announced donations from the American Philo- 
sophical Society ; the Chicago Historical Society ; the 
New- York-State Agricultural Society ; the City of Rox- 
bury ; Samuel A. Green, M. D. ; Rev. Seth Sweetser, 
D. D. ; William Winthrop, Esq., consul at Malta ; and 
from Messrs. Brooks, Lamson, Robbins, Whitney, and 
Winthrop, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated letters 
of acceptance from Messrs. S. F. Haven, Richard H. 
Dana, jun., and G. T. Curtis. He also read a commu- 
nication from Mr. C. B. Norton, which was referred to 
the Standing Committee. 

Mr. Robbins, from the Committee on publishing the 
Catalogue of the Society's Library, exhibited a printed 
specimen of the few first pages for the inspection of 
the members. 

Hon. Albert G. Green, of Providence, R. L, and 
Hon. John P. Kennedy, of Maryland, were elected 
Corresponding Members. 

On motion of Mr. Brigham, it was unanimously 
Voted, That the Society entertain a grateful sense of 
the kind and considerate interest manifested by their 

1858.] THE GOLDEN MELICE. 125 

esteemed associate, the Hon. Edward Everett, in con- 
senting to prepare his Memoir of Thomas Dowse in the 
form of a lecture, for public delivery on the Society's 
behalf; and that the Standing Committee have full 
powers to confer with Mr. Everett, and make all neces- 
sary arrangements for carrying his purpose into effect. 

Mr. Adams, from the Committee on the Cabinet, pre- 
sented a written Report ; which was accepted, and the 
recommendations contained in it adopted. 

The President suggested an interpretation of the title, 
" Knight of the Golden Melice," given to Sir Christo- 
pher Gardiner, in Winthrop's " History of New Eng- 
land,'' in the following remarks: — 

Governor Winthrop, on page 55 of his " History of New 
England/' first volume (page 65 ; Savage's new edition), under 
date of 21st April, 1631, says as follows: "One Mr. Gardiner 
(calling himself Sir Christopher Gardiner, Knight of the 
Golden Melice), being accused to have two wives in England, 
was sent for," &c. 

This designation, "Knight of the Golden Melice," has 
given occasion to much inquiry ; and has never, to my 
knowledge, been satisfactorily explained. 

In the first edition of the Journal, or History (Hartford, 
1790), the word melice is left blank; and our worthy Ex- 
President, Mr. Savage, by whom the word was deciphered, 
has given it, in both his editions, without comment. 

The Greek word melissa could hardly fail of suggesting 
itself to any scholar who was in search of an interpretation 
of Sir Christopher's real or assumed designation ; and, within 
a few years past, an historical romance has been published 
in New York, entitled the " Knight of the Golden Melice," in 
which are found the following passages of an imaginary 
dialogue between Gardiner and Governor Winthrop : — 


"'Ever true to the principle of the melissa,' said the 
governor, smiling, ' what can the Knight of the Golden 
Melice crave, which John Winthrop can deny ? ' 

" The Knight of the Golden Melissa, or Melice, as he was 
commonly called, — meaning thereby the Knight of the 
Golden Honey-bee ; and who, by wearing conspicuously 
about his person the device or badge, adopted when he 
received the order of knighthood, only complied with the 
fantastic notions of the times, — gazed a moment at the fig- 
ure of the bee on the handle of his sword, before replying : 
1 The golden bee does remind me/ he said, ' that even as he, 
in the summer of his days, collects the yellow treasure 
which is to sustain him in the death of winter ; so should I, 
while the day is mine, be busy to perform the will of Him 
who hath called me to a post in his creation, that I be not 
ashamed in the grave.' " 

One may well have some compunction about disturbing 
a theory which has proved suggestive of so much fine senti- 
ment ; and if any trace could be found of any order of 
knighthood which had employed a golden bee as its emblem, 
or if there were any evidence that Sir Christopher had 
adopted it as his own particular badge or device, there 
would be no occasion to inquire further. But, even then, 
it would be difficult to imagine how Gardiner himself, or, 
still more, how Governor Winthrop, should have been led 
to change the honest English designation of " Knight of 
the Golden Honey-bee " into any thing so affected as the 
"Knight of the Golden Melice, or Melissa." 

A simpler and more natural explanation of the title would 
seem to be as follows : — 

In Llorente's " History of the Inquisition " (vol. i. pp. 52, 
133, 203) is found the following passage (having reference 
to the thirteenth century) : " Un nouvel ordre de chevalerie 
destine" a poursuivre les heVetiques sur le modele de celui 
des Templiers, et sous le nom de Milice de Christ." And 

1858.] THE GOLDEN MELICE. 127 

both here and elsewhere it is found that the word milice was 
the generic term in France for " chivalry/ 7 or " knighthood." 
Thus the " History of Knighthood in France/' by Daniel, is 
entitled " Milice Franchise." 

Mr. Savage has printed the word, in both his editions, 
melice; and an inspection of the original manuscripts leaves 
little doubt that Winthrop so wrote it. But doubtless he 
wrote it by the sound, without knowing much of the ortho- 
graphy of the French word. 

But what is to be done with the word golden? A mo- 
ment's reflection will recall the fact, that " Eques auratus " 
is the common translation of the title " knight/' as our own 
" Harvard Triennial" abundantly proves. (See the degree 
of Sir James Mackintosh, &c, &c.) 

And thus the assumed designation of Sir Christopher is 
simplified into what we all can understand, — the golden 
corresponding to the Latin auratus, which is familiar in such 
connections ; and the melice being only the generic French 
term for u knighthood," and the particular term for the 
"Milice de Christ." 

This theory seems to be confirmed by what has been 
stated by Governor Bradford, by Morton and Prince, and by 
Dudley in his letter to the Countess of Lincoln, in regard 
to Sir Christopher's knighthood. 

Dudley says, " Likewise we were lately informed that one 
Mr. Gardiner, who arrived here a month before us, and who 
had passed here for a knight, by the name of Sir Christopher 
Gardiner, all this while was no knight, but, instead thereof, 
had two wives now living in a house at London," &c. Dudley 
meant, doubtless, that he was no English knight. " His 
woman," he continues, " was brought unto us, and confessed 
her name, and that her mother dwells eight miles from 
Boirdly, in Salopshire, &c, &c. ; . . . that she takes him to 
be a knight, but never heard where he was knighted." 

Governor Bradford, however (and Prince and Morton both 


copy from him), says of Sir Christopher, that, " being a great 
traveller, he received his first honor of knighthood at Jeru- 
salem, being made Knight of the Sepulchre there." 

This would seem entirely consistent with the idea, that 
melice was intended for "Milice de Christ; " as nothing would 
be more probable than that the Knights of the Holy Sepul- 
chre at Jerusalem should be styled the Milice (militia), or 
soldiers, of Christ. Shakspeare has this exact idea at the 
very opening of the first part of his " Henry IV.," where 
he makes the king say, — 

" Therefore, friends, 
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ, 
(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross 
We are impressed and engaged to fight,") &c. 

And thus Gardiner's title may have been an honest one, 
after all. In his travels to the Holy Land, he may have 
been enrolled among some of those orders of knighthood 
with which that part of the world, in that age, abounded. 
The word melice is used only by Winthrop ; but it is at 
least an amusing coincidence, that Bradford concludes his 
notice of Gardiner by saying, " After he gott for England, 
he showed his malice; but God prevented him." 

This theory of the meaning of Gardiner's designation, as 
given by Governor Winthrop, was suggested by the citations 
from Llorente's " History of the Inquisition " and Daniel's 
" Milice Franchise," found among the learned notes of Mr. 
Buckle, in his recently published work on " Civilization " 
(pp. 458-9, 61, Am. ed.). 

Before leaving Mr. Buckle's work, another note of his 
may be briefly alluded to. On page 476, he says, " Thus 
Downing, too, though a poor charity-boy, became teller of the 
Exchequer, and representative of England at the Hague." 
And, in a note, he adds, " The common opinion is that he 
was the son of a clergyman at Hackney ; but, if so, he was 
probably illegitimate, considering the way he was brought 

1858.] LETTER OP MR. HAZARD. 129 

up. However, his Hackney origin is very doubtful ; and no 
one appears to know who his father was." 

Now, it is well known, on this side of the Atlantic, that 
George Downing, afterwards Sir George, was one of the 
first class of graduates at Harvard College ; that his father 
was Emanuel Downing, long a respected resident in New 
England ; and that his mother was Lucy Winthrop, the 
sister of our Governor Winthrop. If Mr. Buckle, in his 
multitudinous reading, had consulted the last edition of Lord 
Braybrooke's " Pepys," he would have found the father's 
name correctly stated on the authority of Mr. Savage. 
Whatever faults Downing may have developed in his later 
life, — and he has, justly or unjustly, been generally de- 
scribed as something of an intriguer and a time-server, — 
no one had a more authentic parentage ; and it is yet to 
be learned what reason there was to cavil at " the way he 
was brought up," since he was educated at Harvard College. 

The President called the attention of the Society to a 
volume presented by their associate, Mr. Brooks ; being 
volume first of the " Transactions of the American 
Philosophical Society," on a fly-leaf of which is the fol- 
lowing sentence, in the handwriting of Dr. Franklin: 
" Mr. Franklin presents his compliments to M. Le Roy, 
and requests his acceptance of this volume." It is ad- 
dressed on the outside of the cover, by the same hand, 
to " M. Le Roy, aux galeries de Louvre." 

Mr. Sibley read a letter written by Mr. Hazard, con- 
taining information respecting the expedition to Penob- 
scot in 1770. 

Jamaica Plain, March 22, 1780. 
Gentlemen, — I have not received any letter from you 
since I wrote you last; but, as I find this State have some 
expectations of making the Penobscot sxpedition a Continen- 



tal charge, I think it but a piece of justice to the State of 
New York, and indeed all the rest, to give you some hints 
about it. That affair has made great uneasiness here ; but 
very little has been published in the newspapers about it. 
Whether the printers were under any influence, or what the 
reason was, I shall not pretend to say. A general dissatisfac- 
tion, however, produced the enclosed pamphlet, which I lend 
you, to be returned to me when I come to Philadelphia. In 
the first paper, " the principal causes of the failure " are said 
to be " clearly pointed out in the Report of the Committee 
of both Houses on the 7th October." In that Report, the 
principal blame is laid upon the commodore. I have no 
doubt he was very culpable ; but, from the face of the Report, 
it appears to me, that, as he was a Continental officer, it was 
hoped his bulk would keep the smaller fry out of sight, and 
thereby the credit of the State would be saved, and a plea 
furnished for saddling the Continent with the expense. But, 
were I a member of Congress, I should, when that matter 
came upon the carpet, ask some such questions as the fol- 
lowing, from which, perhaps, some light might be thrown 
upon it : — 

Was G-eneral Gates consulted at all respecting the expedi- 
tion ? He was then the Continental officer commanding the 
army in this department, and was at Providence, not a day's 
ride from Boston. If the Continent were to bear the expense, 
it was certainly proper to consult at least the principal Conti- 
nental officer in the neighborhood, especially when it could 
be so easily and expeditiously done. 

Was there not a proposal in one of the Houses composing 
the General Court for calling in the aid of some Continental 
troops, which was rejected with a remark similar to this, " If 
but ten Continental soldiers are concerned, the Continent will 
take all the honor " ? 

What occasioned the deficiency of " nearly one-third " of 
the men ordered upon that service? 

1858.] LETTER OF MR. HAZARD. 131 

Upon whom was " that shameful neglect chargeable " ? 

What number of shells or bombs was sent with the howit- 
zer which the Board of War was directed to send on to 
Penobscot ? 

If there were none, upon whom was that neglect charge- 
able? and what punishment has been inflicted for it? 

It appears, by Mr. President PowePs letter of July 14th 
to the Navy Board, that the vessels intended for Penobscot 
were but then ready to proceed to sea; and his letter to 
General Lovell, dated July 23, mentions a report, believed by 
many, that two ships of force had left Sandy Hook the 16th 
of that month, and stood to the eastward : from which it seems 
there was reason to apprehend the enemy had notice of the 
design ; and it is certain it was known in Connecticut before 
that time. How came it to be known ? 

Have there not been several escapes from the prison-ship 
in Boston Harbor ? and was there not one about that time, by 
which there is reason to believe the enemy at New York 
were certainly informed of the intended expedition against 

Has the (State) commissary's neglect, in not properly 
guarding or securing the prisoners on board the prison-ship, 
been punished ? and in what manner ? 

Did not the Council receive information that some of the 
officers on that expedition requested leave from General 
Lovell (after having arrived at the eastward) to resign their 
commissions, acknowledging they were cowards ? 

Why was not General Gates applied to for assistance before 
it was too late to hope that his troops could be of any ser- 
vice ? If it was owing to want of information from Penobscot, 
why did not General Lovell send the information sooner ? 

Did not Colonel Bevere return to Boston both without 
orders and without his men? What censure has he received 
for this ? 

So much for the questions. The enemy's fort was at that 


time unfinished, as the commander of it declares in his letter 
to the ministry 5 and, from the concurrent testimony of our 
troops when they returned, it appears that our people all 
knew it, and that the enemy were but in a very weak state. 
It is said they had but two guns mounted. The general, 
then, must have behaved very badly in not attacking it, even 
without the assistance of the commodore. I have heard it 
frequently reported that Colonel McLean had said he would 
have surrendered the fort the day after our troops arrived, 
had it been demanded. His informing the ministry that our 
fleet consisted of thirty-seven sail makes the report probable ; 
for he could have no idea of holding so weak a fort against 
such a force. 

I wrote you formerly, advising that Congress should buy 
up, with bills of exchange, all the Continental money they 
could. From a late resolve of Connecticut, I suspect they are 
upon that plan, apprehending there will be peace soon, and 
that each dollar they now purchase at the depreciated rate 
will hereafter yield them a silver one. You have doubtless 
seen the resolve I refer to ; which, I think, has a very perni- 
cious tendency. The emitting that money, payable in hard 
money after the expiration of four years, will (if Connecticut 
has as much credit as they seem to think) depreciate Conti- 
nental bills of credit immediately and amazingly; and the 
whole Union will suffer by it, unless every State could do 
the same (which they cannot), and Congress could afterwards 
draw the bills out of their hands by taxes, to be destroyed. 
It will hurt Continental credit, because it contains a practical 
declaration, that the faith of an individual State is better than 
that of all united ; and, notwithstanding the absurdity con- 
tained in the declaration, the depreciation of our money will 
make many fools believe it. Their promise to pay their 
troops in hard money will occasion discontents in the army, 
and murmurings among the troops of other States. This 
matter ought to be attended to. 


The persons who were to go to Plymouth and New Hamp- 
shire for papers relating to the Vermont affair are to set off 
to-day. The roads and weather have prevented their going 
before. Please to inform General Scot of this. I don't write 
to him, because he is a letter or two in my debt ; and it is a 
rule with me, not to write to those who neglect answering my 
letters. I am making some extracts from an old manuscript 
history, which will be of use to New York in that contro- 
versy. These I shall bring with me. 

I am, gentlemen, your very humble servant, 

Eben Hazard. 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, Nov. 11, at their rooms in Tremont Street, 
Boston; the President, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in 
the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Depart- 
ment of State of the United States ; L. A. Huguet 
Latour, Esq. ; Hon. George Folsom ; Hon. S. D. Bell ; 
Rev. "William Barry ; Rev. F. Denison ; Hon. J. V. H. 
Clark ; Benjamin Guild, Esq. ; H. T. Duncan, Esq. ; 
Adams and Sampson ; and from Messrs. Adams, Brooks, 
Felt, Robbins, Shurtleff, Willard, and Winthrop, of the 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated letters of 
acceptance from Dr. S. G. Kohl and Count Jules de 

The President presented, on behalf of Benjamin R. 
Winthrop, Esq., two medals of the American Art 


Union, — one of Washington Allston, for the year 1847 ; 
and the other of Gilbert Stuart, for the year 1848. The 
thanks of the Society were voted to the donor for his 
acceptable gift to the cabinet. 

The President also laid on the table a "Memoir of 
the Life of John Quincy Adams," by Josiah Quincy; 
a gift to the library from the author. 

The Standing Committee were clothed with full 
powers to make all necessary arrangements for the 
delivery, on the 9th of December, of Mr. Everett's Ad- 
dress commemorative of the life and character of the 
Society's munificent benefactor, Thomas Dowse. 

The Librarian presented a photograph of the Trus- 
tees of the Massachusetts Humane Society ; a gift from 
the trustees. 

Mr. Ticknor, from the Committee on the Belknap 
Donation, made a summary verbal report of the doings 
of the Committee ; calling the attention of the Society 
to two cabinets, in which had been deposited the manu- 
script sermons and valuable pamphlets of Dr. Belknap, 
in neat and elegant bindings ; and also to his correspond- 
ence, which the Committee had caused to be properly 
arranged in numbered letter-books. 

Mr. Ticknor alluded in strong terms of commendation 
to the important services which had been rendered by 
his colleague, Mr. Deane. After interesting remarks, 
the same gentleman read to the Society several original 
letters from General Washington to Dr. Belknap, and 
one from Lord Lyttelton, dated London, March 29, 
1776. Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Willard, it was 
unanimously Voted, That the thanks of the Society be 


presented to Messrs. Ticknor and Deane for their highly 
valuable and successful services to the Society in arran- 
ging the Belknap Papers, and in providing for the pre- 
servation of Dr. Belknap's sermons and pamphlets in 
strong and beautiful bindings. 

The letters referred to above are here printed : — 

London, March, 29, 1766. 

Sir, — I am much ashamed of not having sooner returned 
you my thanks for the favor of your letter, and for the plea- 
sure I received from the verses you were so good as to send 
me ; but I waited till Mrs. Carter should come to town, that I 
might show her your letter, and make her acknowledgments, 
as well as my own, for the honor you have done us. Her 
stay in the country was longer than 1 had expected ; but she 
is now in London, and desires me to join her thanks to mine 
for the obligations we have to you. We are both pleased 
with your verses, in which the spirit of poetry is not want- 
ing, but in which a still better spirit — that of piety and 
virtue — is very abundant. It is particularly meritorious in 
a young man of your age to employ such fine parts in the 
service of religion and Christian morality. Go on, dear sir, 
to cultivate in your heart these excellent sentiments, and in 
your mind these amiable talents. Not only the poet's laurel, 
but a more unfading crown, will be the reward of your perse- 
verance. May I not also add, that (if you are Thyrsis) the 
constant love of the charming Sylvia will be a sweeter recom- 
pense than any other this world can give to her shepherd's 
genius and goodness? 

Permit me to tell, that I feel the pleasure you have given 
me not a little alloyed by the reflection, that the distance we 
are at from each other will not allow me to cultivate a per- 
sonal acquaintance with one whose character I so much 
esteem. But the vast tract of ocean which separates our 


bodies cannot hinder our souls from joining in friendly sym- 
pathy with each other ; and believe me, dear sir, that as you 
say your soul will always love me, so mine will sincerely return 
that love. As one mark of this affection, and by way of 
acknowledgment for the present you made to me, I have 
ordered Mr. Dodsley to send a new edition I have published 
of my " Dialogues of the Dead," with four additional dia- 
logues, and many corrections of the former. If there is any 
thing for your pleasure or service in this country which I can 
do, you may command, 

Dear sir, your most faithful and obedient servant, 


Mount Vernon, 5th January, 1785. 

Reverend Sir, — A few days ago, under cover from Mr. 
Hazard of Philadelphia, I was honored with your favor of 
the 19th of July, and the first volume of your " History 
of New Hampshire." 

For both, I pray you to accept my thanks ; but my ac- 
knowledgments are more particularly due for your favorable 
expression, in the former, of my past endeavors to support 
the cause of liberty. 

The proof you have given of your approbation of this is 
interesting. I receive it with gratitude, and am with great 

Reverend sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 
(Signed) George Washington. 

The Rev. Mr. Belknap. 

Philadelphia, May 9, 1794. 

S IR; — Your letter of the 14th ultimo, and the first volume 
of an American Biography, came safe to my hands. For 
both, 1 pray you to accept my thanks, and to consider me as 
a subscriber for the latter. 

I wish it was in my power to afford you any aid in the 
prosecution of so desirable a work. But I do not see wherein 


I can ; and, if I did, my avocations are of such a nature as to 
allow me no time to profit by the means. My good wishes, 
therefore, seems to be all that is left me on this occasion. 
These, with great sincerity, I offer you, with assurances of 

Sir, your most obedient servant, 

(Signed) George Washington. 

The Rev. Mr. J. Belknap. 

Mount Vernon, 15th June, 1798. 

Reverend Sir, — Your favor of the 29th ultimo, accom- 
panying the discourse delivered on the day recommended by 
the President of the United States to be observed for a fast, 
was received in the usual course of the mail from Boston ; 
and the copies therewith sent were forwarded agreeably to 
your desire. 

My best wishes attend the prosecution of your " American 
Biography," and (not recollecting whether the request was 
made before) I desire I may be considered as a subscriber to 
the first volume. To the proposal which came under cover 
to me, I have affixed my name ; and will lodge the paper in 
the hands of a gentleman in Alexandria, for the convenience 
of those who may incline to become subscribers thereto, and 
thereafter to return it to you. 

My information relative to the family of Calvert is more 
limited than the one detailed by you. I know little more of it 
than what is recited in the " History of Virginia ; " but I will 
send a transcript of so much of your letter as relates to this 
subject to a well-informed gentleman of my acquaintance in 
Maryland (Judge Chase), and give you the result. 

I know of no other histories of Virginia than those men- 
tioned in your letter; but I recollect well to have heard 
the late Richard Bland, of Prince-George City, say, before the 
Revolution, that he was either possessed of or was collecting 
materials, and hoped to furnish a moie correct history of it 


than any that was then extant. He was very competent to 
the undertaking ; being a man of erudition and intelligence, 
long a member of the councils of this State, and afterwards 
a member of the first Congresses that were held in Philadel- 
phia. Bishop Madison, with whom you seem to be in the 
habit of corresponding, is as likely to give information on the 
point sought after by you as any one person I am acquainted 
with. To the descendant of a gentleman (the Hon. Richard 
Corbin, many years deceased), who, it has been said, possessed 
some valuable notes relative to ancient transactions and the 
actors of those times in this State, I will write ; and, if any 
thing worthy of notice is obtained, you shall be furnished 

If I can render you any service in procuring materials for 
your valuable Biography, I shall feel pleasure in doing it. I 
hope both life and health will be dispensed to you by Him in 
whose hands all things are, until this and many other of your 
good works are completed. 

For the discourse which you were so obliging as to send 
me, and for the favorable sentiments with which it was accom- 
panied, I pray you to accept the best thanks of, reverend 


Your most obedient and very humble servant, 

George Washington. 
The Rev. Mr. Belknap. 

Mount Vernon, 12th July, 1798. 

.Reverend Sir, — Agreeably to the promise contained in 

my last, I put your proposal for continuing and enlarging 

the subscription for the " American Biography," &c, into the 

hands of a friend of mine in Alexandria, for the purpose of 

obtaining subscribers ; and enclosed you will receive the 

result. — "With great esteem and respect, 

I am, sir, your obedient and very humble servant, 

George Washington. 



The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, Dec. 9, at noon, at their rooms in Tremont 
Street, Boston; the President, Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Antislavery Society; the Massachusetts Bible So- 
ciety ; the Massachusetts Colonization Society ; the 
Eliot-Library Association ; G. W. Adams, Esq. ; S. A. 
Green, M.D. ; Cyrus Woodman, Esq. ; Rev. Rufus An- 
derson, D.D. ; Rev. H. B. Hooker, D.D. ; S. K. Whipple, 
Esq. ; J. W. Thornton, Esq. ; Rev. W. B. Sprague, 
D.D. ; and from Messrs. Adams, N. Appleton, Lamson, 
Livermore, Saltonstall, Sibley, ShurtlefT, Ticknor, and 
Winthrop, of the Society. 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, letters 
of acceptance were read by the Recording Secretary 
from Hon. Albert G. Greene, of Providence, R.I. ; and 
Hon. John P. Kennedy, of Maryland. 

The President called the attention of the Society to 
a large and valuable donation to the library, by Mr. 
Ticknor, consisting of more than fifty volumes of poetry 
published in this country, the greater number previous 
to the year 1800. 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented 
to Mr. Ticknor for his highly interesting and very valua- 
ble donation to the library. 


The President also presented to the Society four parts 
of a work in the course of publication, entitled " Ame- 
rican Battle-roll, from Lexington to Mexico, by Henry 
B. Dawson ; " a gift from the author. 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented to 
Henry B. Dawson, Esq., for the first four numbers of 
his beautifully illustrated work. 

The President read a note from Mr. Warren, inviting 
the Society to meet at his residence, in Beacon Street, 
on the evening of Tuesday, the 21st of December. The 
invitation was accepted. 

Edward A. Crowninshield, Esq., was elected a Resi- 
dent Member. 

Mr. Ellis presented two Chinese maps ; a gift from 
Lieutenant George H. Preble. 

Mr. Salstonstall presented two of Ames's Almanacs 
of the years 1765 and 1766, with manuscript notes, and 
a small volume of notes of sermons in manuscript; 
which were referred to the Publishing Committee. 


A special meeting of the Society was held this even- 
ing, the 21st of December (the anniversary of the 
landing of the Pilgrims), at the residence of Hon. 
Charles H. Warren, No. 50, Beacon Street. 

The President took the chair, and called the Society to 
order, at eight o'clock. In the course of his introductory 
remarks, he stated, that, over fifty years ago, an attempt 


was made to pledge the Society to an annual celebra- 
tion of the landing of the Pilgrims, but that there had 
been only one celebration of the day by it; viz., in 1813, 
when Judge Davis delivered an oration at the King's 
Chapel, and the Society dined at Concert Hall. On 
the present occasion, Mr. Winthrop said they had 
assembled at the invitation of an associate, who had 
six direct ancestors who were passengers in the " May- 
flower," and could claim two more, at least, in right of 
his wife. 

Mr. Winthrop then alluded to a visit he had made 
during the last summer to Cape Cod ; to the beauty of 
the bluff at Truro ; and of the old Cape-Cod harbor, in 
which the " Mayflower " was first moored. He deeply 
regretted to learn that there was still a well-founded 
apprehension, that the action of the winds and waves 
on the sand-hills around the harbor would cut off all 
connection with the main land; and he expressed the 
hope, that public attention would be seriously turned to 
that fact. 

Mr. Winthrop referred to the mistaken popular im- 
pression that existed as to the precise facts which 
occurred on the 21st of December, 1620. He named 
an elaborate engraving, published in London, and dedi- 
cated to the people of the United States, in which the 
Pilgrims are represented as landing on the 15th of 
November, 1620; when the truth is, that only a few of 
the company went ashore at Cape Cod as an exploring 
party. It had also been represented in art and in lite- 
rature, that on the 21st of December, 1620, the whole 
Pilgrim company landed at Plymouth ; but the " May- 


flower," on that day, was moored in the harbor of Cape 
Cod, having on board Elder Brewster and all the women 
and children. At that date, there landed at Plymouth a 
party of explorers, who had gone out in a shallop to 
seek a place for a permanent habitation ; and it was 
many days after, before the whole company arrived at 
Plymouth. He thought that art should be more true to 
historical fact. 

Mr. Winthrop said that a question had been raised, 
whether Mary Chilton or John Alden was the first to 
step on the rock, and that Judge Davis had suggested, 
that, as a matter of gallantry, the preference should be 
awarded to the lady ; but Professor Longfellow, in his 
late poem, had made John Alden the Protesilaus of the 
expedition, though with no other penalty than the wrath 
of Miles Standish for his having won the affections of 
Priscilla Mullins. But, if the question related to the 
21st of December, it was altogether a foreign one ; since 
there were no females in the shallop which came to 
Plymouth on that day, and John Alden was not one of 
the boat's crew, the names of whom are given by Brad- 

Mr. Warren described various memorials of the Pil- 
grims, which stood in view in the apartment in which 
the Society were assembled. The chair in which the 
President sat came over in the " Mayflower." The seal 
used by Governor Winslow, with his arms and crest, 
and a pewter plate, with his* initials on the back, and 
coat-of-arms on the rim, were on the table ; also the 
swords of Brewster, Standish, and Carver. The Stan- 
dish sword was once in the keeping of Dr. Belknap, to 


whom, on one occasion, when it was thought necessary 
to have a volunteer night patrol in Boston, the late 
Judge Davis addressed the following note : — 

Monday Evening, . 

Dear Sir, — Will you confide to my care Miles Standish's 
sword till to-morrow morning ? I shall think myself honored 
in mounting guard with it. If I expected any use for it, 
however, I should hardly dare to ask for the loan, lest this 
venerable weapon should for the first time be discredited. 

Yours as ever, 

Jn. Davis. 
Dr. Belknap. 

Mr. Warren exhibited two scrap-books — the pro- 
perty of William Gilmor, Esq., of Baltimore, Md. — con- 
taining a rare collection of autographs. Amongst them 
were those of Queen Elizabeth, Oliver Cromwell, and 
many other distinguished persons in different ages 
and countries. 

Mr. Warren read the original of Dr. Franklin's letter 
to Miss Hubbard, of Boston, dated Feb. 23, 1756, on 
the death of his brother, John Franklin, a copy of 
which will be found printed in Mr. Sparks's collection. 
He also read the following extract from a letter of 
General Jackson to Mr. Poinsett: — 

" Hermitage, 10th January, 1838. 

" This will be handed you by my friend , who is a 

young gentleman of good education and high moral worth. 
He was pursuing a course of studies to fit himself for the 
ministry, of the Episcopalian order ; and, to enable him to pro- 
ceed, he became Editor of the " Nashville Union" for a short 
time. This so displeased a few of the "Whig editors, and dea- 


cons of the church, that they, for his becoming editor, dropped 
him as a candidate for orders in their church, — some of 
whom are believed here never to have had three grains 
of religion among them." 

Besides the autographs above alluded to, Mr. Warren 
selected for examination specimens of Washington's 
handwriting at the age of thirteen years, and also a 
report of a survey of a piece of land made by Washing- 
ton at the age of seventeen, signed " G. Washington, 
S.C.C." (perhaps, Surveyor for County Court). 

Mr. Savage offered, at some length, interesting and 
impressive remarks regarding the providential character 
of the events which led to, accompanied, and followed 
the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. 

Mr. Brigham read extracts from the wills and inven- 
tories of Miles Standish, Elder Brewster, and Governor 
Bradford, which he had copied from original records. 
He particularly called attention to the following sen- 
tences from Governor Bradford's will : — 

" I commend unto your wisdom and discretion some small 
books written by my own hand, to be improved as you shall 
see meet. In special, I commend to you a little book with a 
black cover, wherein is a word to New England, with sundry 
useful verses." 

Mr. Deane stated that there was among the Belknap 
Papers a fragment of that "little book," in Bradford's 
hand, of which Dr. Belknap had published a portion in 
the third volume of the Society's Collections. He also 
mentioned, that, while two or three of the officers of 
the Society were recently examining a very early manu- 


script copy of Bradford's Poems in their archives, they 
had discovered that it contains a complete transcript 
of his "Description of New England," — of which only 
the fragment above alluded to had been already 
printed, — and several other "verses" which were here- 
tofore unknown to exist. 

Mr. Felton offered the following resolution, which 
was unanimously adopted ; viz., — 

Besolved, That the thanks of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society be presented to their distinguished associate, the 
Hon. Edward Everett, for the interesting, instructive, and 
eloquent eulogy pronounced by him, at their request, on the 
evening of the 9th instant, on the late Thomas Dowse ; and 
that he be respectfully requested to furnish a copy for publi- 

Thanks were also voted to our venerable associate, 
Eev. William Jenks, D.D., for his highly acceptable 
service to the Society, as chaplain, on the occasion of 
Mr. Everett's discourse. 

An interesting conversation ensued, in which Messrs. 
Savage, Ellis, Shurtleff, and Warren participated. 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, Jan. 13, at noon, in their rooms, Tremont 
Street, Boston; the President, Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, in the chair. 



In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording Secre- 
tary announced donations from the American Antisla- 
very Society ; the American Board of Commissioners 
for Foreign Missions ; the American Tract Society ; the 
American Unitarian Association ; the New- Jersey His- 
torical Society ; the Society of Antiquaries ; the Smithso- 
nian Institution ; the County Commissioners of Bristol 
County ; the County Commissioners of Norfolk County ; 
Samuel A. Green, M.D. ; Rev. Joseph S. Clarke, D.D. ; 
Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; B. P. Williams, Esq. ; Count 
Jules de Menou ; Rev. Dr. Palfrey ; Rev. H. B. Hooker, 
D.D. ; Rev. S. Willard; John Wilson and Son; Hon. 
S. G. Arnold ; William Durrant Cooper, Esq. ; and 
from Messrs. N. Appleton, Longfellow, Quint, Robbins, 
Savage, Sibley, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, no 
communication from his department was made. 

Mr. Warren presented a volume of the Camden So- 
ciety's publications, edited by William Durrant Cooper, 
Esq., entitled " Savile Correspondence," — a gift from 
the editor; for which the thanks of the Society were 
voted to Mr. Cooper. 

Mr. Livermore presented to the Society two printed 
papers, — one entitled " Stamp Duties," believed to be 
a list of duties during the last war ; the other, ' " Em- 
bargo by Express," dated Boston, April 3, 1812. 

Dr. Shurtleff communicated a donation, from Charles 
D. Kellogg, Esq., of a couch, made for General La- 
fayette when he visited Boston ; for which the Cabinet- 
keeper was directed to express to the donor the thanks 
of the Society. 

Substitute for pages 147-48 of the last volume of Proceedings 


1859.] MEETING AT MR. GRAY'S. 147 

The President communicated an invitation from Mr. 
Gray to the Society, to hold a special meeting at his 
residence, on Thursday evening next. 

Hon. Levi Lincoln, of Worcester, and Dr. Joseph 
Palmer, of Boston, were elected Resident Members. 


A special meeting of the Society was held at the 
house of Hon. John C. Gray, Summer Street, this even- 
ing, the 20th of January. The President took the 
chair at seven and a half o'clock, and, in a few appro- 
priate remarks, announced the decease of Lemuel 
Shattuck, — the ninth on our list of members, — and 
nominated Mr. Felt to prepare the customary Memoir 
for the Society's Collections. 

He then proceeded to allude to the birthdays of 
Benjamin Franklin and Daniel Webster, which had been 
celebrated on the 17th and 18th inst. ; and added, that 
possibly some of the antiquaries among our number 
might remember that Governor Winthrop's birthday 
was on the 22d ; he having been born on the 12th 
of January, 1587, old style ; which would be the 22d of 
January, 1588, new style. Thus, within the same week, 
were comprised the birthday anniversaries of at least 
three of the men who had been hardly second to any 
others who could be named in three of the great periods 
of New-England history, — the colonial, the revolution- 
ary, and the constitutional. 

The President remarked that he had been led to 
think of his ancestors birthday from the fact that Cot- 


"Magnalia," substituting June for January; and that, 
not long ago, one of our illustrated papers had taken 
this date for commemorating the governor by a portrait 
and a biographical sketch. In looking over some old 
family papers, he had found reason for believing that the 
governor was not born, as has usually been stated, at 
Groton, but at Edwardston, a little town between Groton 
and Sudbury, where his mother, Agnes Brown, had 
lived before her marriage, and where she was paying a 
visit to her parents at the time of her confinement. 

At the instance of Mr. Winthrop, the unanimous con- 
sent of the Society was given to Mr. Everett to take 
from the library the " Tithes-book of the Parish of 

Mr. Bowditch presented to the Society a watch found 
on the person of Colonel Ebenezer Francis, who was 
killed at the battle of Hubbardston, A.D. 1777; also a 
copy of " Anburey's Travels," in two volumes, contain- 
ing an account of the circumstances under which the 
watch came into the possession of the family of Colonel 
Francis, — gifts to the cabinet and library from Mrs. 
Elizabeth B. Bowditch and Mrs. Sarah Ellen Mason, 
grand-daughters of Colonel Francis. 

On motion of Mr. Clifford, Voted, That the thanks 
of this Society be respectfully tendered to Mrs. Bowditch 
and Mrs. Mason for the precious relic of their patriotic 
ancestor which they have generously given to the Socie- 
ty's cabinet, and for the interesting volumes accompa- 
nying it which they have contributed to the library. 

Mr. Warren communicated the following paper 
upon the subject of Washington's dress, and the 


origin of the buff and blue uniform of the Revolu- 
tionary Army: — 

Much curiosity has been excited in regard to the origin of 
the uniform of the Continental Army, — the famous blue and 
buff; and many inquiries have been made, with very par- 
tial success, as to the time when it was first adopted as a 
military dress. It does not appear that this dress has ever 
been worn by any portion of the British Army. Cannon, in 
his " Historical Record of the British Army," says, " ' Buff/ 
says Winslow, ' is so called, because it hath some likeness with 
the buffle, or buffalo. Buffskin is a leather prepared from the 
skin of the buffalo, of which buff is a contraction. The third 
regiment of foot, formerly designated the Holland regiment, 
obtained a title from the color of their clothing. The men's 
coats were lined or faced with buff. They also wore buff 
waistcoats, buff breeches, and buff stockings, and were em- 
phatically styled the Buffs.'" 

Cannon describes them as raised in 1572 for service in the 
Netherlands, and placed on the English establishment in 

The thirty-first regiment in the English Army was raised 
in 1702, was dressed in the same manner, and styled the 
" Young Buffs." 

It will be perceived that nothing is said here in regard to 
the color of the coats ; and although inquiries have been 
made in England, by my request, through the kindness of our 
Corresponding Member, William Durrant Cooper, Esq., it can- 
not be made certain, by reference to any record or regulation, 
what that color was. 

It appears, however, by a plate of the battle of Malplaquet 
(11th September, 1709), that the third regiment (before re- 
ferred to) are represented as in red coats, with buff facings, 
breeches, &c. 

In the reign of Anne, scarlet and blue were definitely fixed 
upon as the uniform of the British Army. 


It would seem certain, therefore, that our Revolutionary 
uniform was not copied from the British Army. 

In a plate of the battle of Nieuport (1600), the Spaniards 
are represented as in buff, slashed with light blue. 

When, and under what circumstances, then, was the " buff 
and blue " introduced in this country ? 

The earliest mention that I have been able to find, after 
extensive inquiry and research, is in a book published by 
J. F. D. Smyth, Esq., in London, in 1784. It appears that 
this Mr. Smyth resided in Virginia before and in the early 
periods of the Revolution; was a Tory; left Virginia, and was 
afterwards a captain in the British Army. In that book is this 
passage : " It was at Alexandria [where the author then was] 
where George Washington first stepped forth as the public 
patron and leader of sedition and revolt ; having subscribed 
fifty pounds for these purposes where others subscribed five, 
and having accepted the command of the first armed asso- 
ciates against British government, which he had clothed in 
his old uniform of the Virginia regiment last war ; viz., blue 
and buff." 

As Mr. Smyth was speaking of matters falling under his 
own observation, in reference to which there could be no 
possible reason for misrepresentation (it being then of no 
consequence what the dress of Washington and his men was), 
I think the fact is established, that, in the war of 1756-63, 
the Virginia regiment was dressed in blue and buff. 

I learn, through George W. Randolph, Esq., of Richmond, 
that no statute or regulation can be found in Virginia, of any 
date, prescribing the dress of their troops. This is the fact, 
also, in regard to Massachusetts. The probability is strong, I 
think, that each- Colony, and perhaps each regiment, adopted 
such uniform as suited their own taste or inclination. 

In the portrait of Washington painted in 1772, and now at 
Arlington, he is not represented as in buff and blue, but, as 
Mr. Custis says in a letter to George Livermore, Esq., "attired 


in the Provincial uniform of the Colonial forces of Great Bri- 
tain." The dress, it would seem, then, had been changed at 
some time after the war of 1756 ; and the truth may be, 
that when Washington, in the spring of 1775, " stepped forth 
as the public patron and leader of sedition and revolt," he 
preferred the dress of the olden time to that which more dis- 
tinctly marked the domination of the British Government. 
He came to Cambridge in July, 1775 ; and Thacher, in his 
" Military Journal," says that he saw him on July 20, and 
that " his dress was a blue coat, with buff-colored facings, buff 
under-dress," &c. 

The next we hear of this uniform is in New York, where 
(after the above date), at the instance of Schuyler, an artil- 
lery company was formed, "the uniform to be blue and buff;" 
" which," Mr. John C. Hamilton says, " is supposed to be the 
first official designation of a uniform in this country." There 
can be little doubt, I think, that this uniform was adopted 
because it was Washington's ; that Washington adopted it be- 
cause it was his " old uniform ; " and that thus its use became 
universal, and it was established as the uniform of the army. 

There is another circumstance relating to Washington's 
dress, which has given occasion to a good deal of speculation 
and discussion. 

When Colonel Laurens was captured on his passage to 
Holland, in 1780, he had with him a portrait of Washington, 
intended for the stadtholder. The capture was made by 
Captain Keppel, a nephew of Admiral Lord Keppel ; and 
he presented it to his uncle, the admiral. This portrait 
is now at Quidenham, Lord Albemarle's seat in Norfolk. 
The Hon. and Rev. Thomas Keppel, in his " Life of Admiral 
Keppel," speaks of it, and is very much perplexed by the 
representation of a blue ribbon worn across the breast. As 
Washington belonged to no order of nobility, and as there 
was no society existing at that time in America of which 
this was the badge, he cannot accoum, for its presence. 


The admiral's biographer says, " Washington himself is 
represented as leaning with one hand upon a cannon. He 
is dressed in a uniform of blue and buff; a broad ribbon 
of garter-blue is over his right shoulder; and at his feet is 
a banner, which denotes that the badge was that of the 
Order of the Cincinnati. . . . Washington is here repre- 
sented, in the year 1780, as decorated with the badge of 
the Cincinnati ; whereas the order itself is supposed not to 
have had any existence until nearly four years subsequent 
to this period, and the badge in which Washington is drawn 
is said never to have been worn in America." 

So a Hessian officer, writing after the surrender of Bur- 
goyne, says, " The brigadiers and generals [of the American 
Army] are wearing particularly uniforms, and ribbons lying 
over the waistcoats in the fashion in which ribbons with 
orders are used." 

So a recent writer in the " National Intelligencer " says, 
" How does it happen that the portrait of Washington, painted 
by C. W. Peale for Louis XVI., and sent to France, and 
which is now in the National Gallery of the Patent Office, 
represents him with a badge of a Marshal of France? It 
may be that the broad ribbon of this picture indicates no 
such rank; and, if not, what does it mean?" The ribbon 
spoken of by this writer is represented as a blue ribbon, worn 
across the breast, between the coat and waistcoat. 

All this is explained by reference to the Orderly-book 
of Major William R. Lee, of the twenty-first regiment, 
Continental Army (deposited in our library, with his two 
commissions as Major and Colonel, by his grandson, Wil- 
liam Raymond Lee, Esq.), in which the following order is 
found : — 

"July 14, 1775 [twelve days after Washington assumed the com- 
mand at Cambridge]. General Orders. — It is recommended both to 
officers and men to make themselves acquainted with the persons of 
all the general officers. And in the mean time, to prevent mis- 


takes, the general officers and the aides-de-camp will be distinguished 
in the following manner : viz., the commander-in-chief, by a light-blue 
ribbon, worn across his breast, between his coat and vest ; the major 
and brigadier generals, by a pink ribbon worn in like manner ; the 
aides-de-camp, by a green ribbon." 

It appears by the above extract from the " National Intel- 
ligencer/ 7 that the old story of Washington's having been a 
Marshal of France is revived upon the strength of the blue 
ribbon represented in the portrait at the Patent Office. This 
is a somewhat slender foundation, as a blue ribbon is not a 
badge of a Marshal of France, and as its presence is otherwise 
satisfactorily accounted for. 

There is no evidence whatever, so far as I can learn, that 
Washington ever held such an appointment. No doubt, this 
belief was very generally entertained at one time. In Cary's 
"American Museum' 7 for 1787, in the list of subscribers, we 
find, " George Washington, late Commander-in-Chief of the 
American forces, Marshal of France" &c. 

A Mr. Lamont dedicated a volume of poems to Washington 
in 1784, and spoke of him as a Marshal of France. 

Dr. Sparks says, that " this idea probably originated 
from the circumstance of his (Washington's) having com- 
manded Count de Rochambeau." — Sparks 1 s Washington, vol. 
ix. p. 89, note. 

M. Yaillant, late French Minister at War, says, in answer 
to an inquiry from Mr. Walsh, that " no trace of a decree 
conferring on General Washington the dignity of a Marshal 
of France can be found in the archives of this ministry." 

But the whole matter would seem to be disposed of by 
Washington himself, in a letter written to Mr. Lamont, quoted 
by Sparks (ubi supra) ; in which he says, under date of 
Jan. 31, 1785, "It behooves me to correct a mistake in your 
printed address to the patrons of the fine arts. I am not a 
Marshal of France, nor do I hold any office under that go- 
vernment or any other whatever." 



All this is conclusive, unless an appointment was made of 
which there was no record, and unless Washington is to be 
suspected of equivocating upon the subject ; that is, in saying 
that he was not a marshal in 1785, although he might have 
held the appointment at some former time. 

The following paper on the early charters of Massa- 
chusetts was communicated by Mr. Washburn : — 

Transfer of the Colony Charter o/* 1628 from England to 



Every one, who has studied the history of Massachusetts, 
must have remarked the importance which its early settlers 
attached to the possession of the instrument called the Charter, 
or Patent. They seemed to regard its presence as a kind of 
palladium, securing to them the enjoyment of their civil and 
religious rights, and without which they had no adequate 
guaranty of their permanency. 

My object, in what I shall offer at this time, will be to show 
how strong this impression was in the minds of the early 
colonists ; and to trace, as far as I may be able, the grounds 
upon which it rested. 

It will be recollected, that in March, 1627, Sir Henry Ros- 
well and others purchased of the Council of Plymouth the 
country between three miles north of the Merrimack and 
three miles south of the Charles Rivers, which gave them a 
right to the soil, but no powers of government (1 Hutch. 17). 

The following March (1628), a royal charter was obtained 
through the intervention of Lord Dorchester, creating a cor- 
poration by the name of " the Governor and Company of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England;" and twenty-six persons 
were named as patentees. 


Duplicates of this charter were issued to the company, 
under the Great Seal; and the same was enrolled in chancery, 
and thereby made a matter of perpetual and public record. 

I have neither space nor' time to analyze the provisions of 
that charter. But no one can read it without being struck 
with three things : 1st, That a grant should have been made 
by Charles I., embracing so many elements of free govern- 
ment, if it was intended for any thing more than a trading 
corporation; 2d, The singular, and, if intended, the adroit, 
omission of every thing in its terms tending to give it any 
fixed locality; and, 3d, The meagreness of the powers it 
confers, if it was contemplated to be the constitution of 
government of a distinct and distant Colony. 

The company organized under it in May, 1628. 

In conformity with what had been the ostensible design of 
the company, Endicott was sent out to commence a plantation 
at Salem; and arrived there in September, 1628. 

On the 17th of April, 1629, they sent to him, by the hands 
of Mr. Sharpe, one of the duplicates of their charter, as 
appears by Governor Cradock's letter to Mr. Endicott of that 
date (Mass. Chron. 142). 

In July of that year, twelve gentlemen of " figure and 
estate," including Mr. Johnson, Mr. Winthrop, and Mr. Dud- 
ley, entered into a written agreement at Cambridge to 
remove to New England, " if the government and patent of the 
plantation were legally transferred to remain with the emi- 
grants" (Chron. Mass. 14; Hutch. 19). 

This proposition was communicated to the company on the 
28th of the same July. " Learned counsel " were thereupon 
consulted as to the measure (1 Mass. Eec. 52). Besides 
this, Mr. White, one of the company, was a counsellor-at-law. 
The point of difficulty was, whether such a transfer could 
legally be made. What the opinion of counsel was, does 
not appear : but on the 29th August, at a meeting of the 
company, the question was discussed * " and it was then, by 


erection of hands, fully decreed to be the general mind of 
the company ? and their desire, that the government and the 
patent of the plantation should be transferred to New Eng- 
land, and settled there" (Hubbard, 123, 124). It was not, 
however, intended that the company should cease to have 
a local connection with England. They were to continue 
to manage a portion of its affairs there, as a joint-stock 
concern, for a while, through the agency of such of its 
members as did not emigrate. The seat of its government 
was to be removed to the home of the new Colony. Winthrop 
was accordingly chosen governor, and, with his company, 
arrived at Salem in June, 1630, bringing with him the char- 
ter, the duplicate having already reached Mr. Endicott. 

But, as it is my purpose to speak only of the supposed virtue- 
attached to the custody of the charter, I pass to 1633, when, 
upon the complaints of Gorges, Mason, and others, to the Privy 
Council, an order was passed by that body, staying the depart- 
ure of sundry vessels then ready to sail for New England ; 
" and that .Mr. Cradock, a chief adventurer in that plantation, 
now present before the Board, should be required to cause 
the letters-patent for the said plantations to be brought to 
this Board." 

It could only have been with a view to vacate the charter, 
or otherwise embarrass the Colony by the loss of its custody, 
that they thus required it to be brought before them; for, had 
it been simply to ascertain its terms, it could have been easily 
done by recurring to the public records in London. 

In 1635, more systematic measures were inaugurated for 
overthrowing the government and charter of the Colony. 
These consisted of a writ of quo warranto, bearing date 
at Trinity Term, the 11th of Charles L, sued out by Sir 
John Banks, Attorney-General, from the King's Bench. 
Among the grounds on which it was alleged that the com- 
pany had transcended their corporate powers, and violated 
their corporate obligations, were that the company in Lon- 


don and other places, as also in several parts beyond the seas 
out of the kingdom, without any warrant, had used the liber- 
ties, privileges, and franchises therein enumerated, under 
fourteen specifications, covering most of the public acts which 
they had done as a corporation. Among these was that they 
kept one council without right, were resident in New England, 
and named and chose and swore whom they pleased to that 
council. For an obvious reason, therefore, the crown-officers 
seem to have purposely ignored the government in the 
Colony, and to have caused their writ to be served only 
upon such of the original assistants as remained in England ; 
and the fact of such a writ having been sued out at all was 
not known to the governor or assistants of the Colony until 
after judgment in the action had been rendered. 

Fifteen of the persons upon whom the notice had been 
served appeared in court ; among whom was their former 
governor, Cradock. He entered his appearance, but made 
no answer ; and a default was recorded against him. All the 
other fourteen denied their having usurped or used, or that 
they claimed any right to use, any of the liberties or franchises 
mentioned in the writ ; and thereupon an order was passed 
prohibiting them from intermeddling in future. 

Upon the default of Governor Cradock, a judgment was en- 
tered convicting him of the usurpation charged, " and that the 
said liberties should be taken and seized into the king's hands; 
the said Matthew not to interfere with, and be excluded, the 
use thereof; and the said Matthew to be taken to answer to 
the king for the said usurpation." 

The rest of the company were outlawed, and no formal 
judgment entered against them. 

I have been thus minute in the details of these proceedings, 
because it shows, that, if they were of any validity, here was 
such a seizing of the charter into the king's hands as would, 
by the law as now understood, have worked a suspension, at 
least, of the corporate functions of the body politic (Willock 


Corp. 28) ; and that it is hardly to be conceived that so solemn 
a farce should have been played by the principal law-officer 
of the crown before the highest court in the realm, at no 
inconsiderable expense, if it was not supposed that every 
thing had thereby been accomplished which could be through 
the instrumentality of a judgment. 

Something else seems to have been considered necessary to 
accomplish the end they had in view; and that was, to get 
possession of the charter itself. We accordingly find that 
the Lords of the Council, in April, 1638, although they were 
cognizant of the fact that the Attorney-General had sued out 
the writ of quo warranto, as they say, " against the patent," 
gravely adopted an order, which they communicated through 
their clerk in a letter to Governor Winthrop, in which, after 
reciting their former order to Mr. Cradock to cause the " grant 
or letters-patent for that plantation, alleged by him to be 
there remaining in the hands of Mr. Winthrop, to be sent 
over hither," " they strictly require and enjoin the said Win- 
throp, or any other in whose power or custody the said letters- 
patent are, that they fail not to transmit the said patent hither 
by the return of the ship in which the order is conveyed to 
them ; " and threatening, " in case of any further neglect or 
contempt by them showed," to " move his majesty to re- 
assume into his hands the whole plantation." 

To this letter the General Court replied in September, 
1638, by a humble petition to the " Lords-Commissioners for 
Foreign Plantations," in which they deny any knowledge of 
the writ of quo warranto; and go on to say, " that, if our patent 
should now be taken from us, we should be looked upon as 
runagates and outlaws." Other expressions in their petition 
also indicate their opinion, that, the moment they gave up 
the possession of their charter, their civil and corporate 
existence would be at an end. 

It is hardly necessary to add, that they did not send back 
their charter in obedience to this call. In Winthrop's Jour- 


nal, the reason is given : " For it was resolved to be best 
not to .send it, because then such of our friends and others 
in England would conceive it to be surrendered, and that, 
thereupon, we should be bound to receive such a governor 
and such orders as should be sent to us ; and many bad 
minds, yea, and some weak ones, among ourselves, would 
think it lawful, if not necessary, to accept a General Gover- 
nor" (vol. i. 269). 

The Council of New England, it will be recollected, had 
solemnly surrendered their charter to the crown in 1635, in 
contemplation of having a General Governor appointed for 
the whole of New England and a portion of what is now New 
York and New Jersey, which was to have been divided into 
twelve Provinces ; and the Massachusetts Charter was found 
to stand essentially in the way of accomplishing this project 
(1 Hutch. 50, 51). Besides, it should be borne in mind, 
that, as the law is now understood, it is extremely doubtful 
whether a municipal corporation can surrender its franchise ; 
while, if it can, it is clear that it can only be done by 
the assent of a majority of the freemen of such corporation 
(Willock, 331, 332). 

All that is necessary for our present purpose is to ascer- 
tain by their action, as well as from other historical facts, 
what estimate was attached to the possession of the charter, 
by the attempts of the government, on the one hand, to de- 
prive the company of it, and the perseverance with which 
they clung to it as for their very existence. 

Chalmers, — no willing witness for the Colony, — while he 
insists that the charter did not erect Massachusetts into a 
Province of the empire, to be governed by the acts of a Pro- 
vincial Legislature; and that the first General Court, when 
Cradock was chosen Governor, in May, 1629, was the only 
legal one ever convened; and that this transfer of their charter 
was the first instance of a corporate body that ever sold itself 
(pp. 180, 181) ; and while he regards + he judgment in the quo 


warranto of 1635 as a seizing of the liberties of Massachu- 
setts into the hands which conferred them, because they had 
been improperly exercised (p. 161), — admits that Attorney- 
General Sawyer gave it as his opinion, that they might trans- 
fer their charter and act under it in New England, and that 
the Chief-Justices, Rainsford and North, fell into the same 
mistake (p. 173). 

From whatever cause, the government went on under the 
charter, though against the wishes of the government at 
home (1 Hutch. 210), who, it would seem, were uncertain 
what the respective rights and powers of the two were, under 
the existing circumstances ; for we find the Lords of the 
Committee of Trade and Plantations, in 1678, calling upon the 
law-officers of the crown — Sir William Jones, Attorney-Gene- 
ral, and Sir Francis Winnington, Solicitor-General ■ — ■ for an 
opinion as to the legal effect of the judgment in the quo war- 
ranto of 1635. And the conclusion to which these officers 
came was, that neither the quo warranto was so brought, nor 
the judgment thereon so given, as could cause a dissolution 
of the charter (Chalmers, 440). 

The opinion of the General Court upon the subject may 
be gathered from Hutchinson's account of their measures, at 
the time Colonel Nichols and the other commissioners visited 
New England, in 1664, to hear and determine the matters of 
complaint therein existing. " And apprehending it," says he, 
" to be of great concernment that the patent, or charter, should 
be kept safe and secret, they ordered the Secretary to bring 
it into court, and deliver it, together with a duplicate, to four 
of the court (naming them), who were directed to dispose of 
them as might be most safe for the country" (1 Hutch. 211). 

A new attack upon the chartered rights of the Colony was 
instigated by Randolph; the evil genius of New England, in 
1683. A new writ of quo warranto was sent out, which he 
brought over, and, with it, copies of the proceedings which 
had been had against the charter of London. The magis- 


trates were disposed to yield, and surrender the charter. The 
deputies refused to concur; and the result was, that, in Trinity 
Term of 1684, judgment in chancery was rendered against 
the Governor and Company of Massachusetts, — " that their 
letters-patent, and the enrolment thereof, be cancelled.' 7 

Nothing seems to have been said upon either side as to 
what should be done with the instrument of the charter, or 
as to its custody. The subject would seem to have been 
purposely waived by both parties. 

The Colony appears to have been disheartened, partly 
because so many of the corporations in England, including 
London, had been compelled to yield ; partly from a want of 
harmony in their own counsels ; and probably from a growing 
apprehension that their charter would not prove adequate to 
the multiplied interests and relations of business and civil 
polity of a Colony such as that of Massachusetts was rap- 
idly becoming. At any rate, they yielded; though, as Chal- 
mers says, the validity of these proceedings was questioned 
" by very great authority.' 7 And the House of Commons, 
at a subsequent term, resolved that the warrants against 
the charters of New England were illegal and void (Chal- 
mers, 415). 

They still retained the parchment, which seems to have 
been carefully preserved ; and at the time of the Revolution, 
in 1689, the officers chosen under it in 1686 resumed the 
government. But it must have been rather a matter of 
temporary expediency than an exercise of right; and the 
people saw, Math a heavy heart, their good old charter, with 
its democratic powers and free tendencies, superseded at last 
and for ever by that of 1691. 

The truth probably is, that they saw, that, if they could 
obtain a reversal of the judgment against their charter for 
irregularity in the proceedings, they would, almost from 
necessity, be obliged to transcend its powers, in order to 
carry on the government, and thereby subject themselves 



to a new writ. And it is said, that, upon this ground, Treby, 
Somers, and Holt — the great lawyers then of England — 
advised against their adopting any measures to reverse the 
judgment (Chalmers, 415). 

There is nothing, therefore, in the final dissolution of the 
charter, which leads us to suppose they ever changed their 
sentiments in respect to the value or importance of the 
instrument itself, as one of the grounds upon which their 
rights under it rested. And a recurrence to contemporary 
history tends to show that the sentiment was a general one, 
and that it had its origin in the general ignorance and un- 
certainty which prevailed — as well in the courts as at the 
bar, and with the people generally — as to what the law 
upon the subject was. 

The charter of Plymouth was taken out by Governor 
Bradford in his own name. But, in 1640, it was thought 
best that it should be more directly brought within the 
control ol the General Court ; and, as is said in his History, 
he thereupon " surrendered the said letters-patent actually 
into the hands and power of the said court " (p. 374). It 
was done in open court ; the charter being delivered into 
the hands of Nathaniel Souther, who had been authorized to 
receive it: and it was ordered, that Mr. William Bradford 
should have the keeping of the said letters-patent ; and they 
were delivered to him in open court (1 Hutch. 468). 

In 1685, it was resolved to commence proceedings against 
the charters of Connecticut and Rhode Island ; but the latter 
tamely submitted, and surrendered her charter to the crown. 
Connecticut withstood the attack to the utmost of her power. 

The quo warranto against that Colony was issued in July, 
1685. Their charter had been granted in 1662; and at the 
first election under it, in October of that year, three persons 
had been chosen to keep that instrument. 

The writ commanded the Governor and Company to ap- 
pear in eight days. No notice, however, was ever had of 


it by these until the 6th July, 1686, — a year after its 
issuing; nor was it formally served upon them until the 
21st of that month, when it was served by Randolph. 
Another similar writ was issued in December, 1686, and 
was served upon the Governor. In the mean time, near 
fifty corporations had been deprived of their charters; and 
to these were added the charters of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island. Nothing daunted, however, that Colony adhered to 
the exercise of their chartered rights : and though Andros — 
who had arrived on the 20th December, 1686, with a com- 
mission as Governor of New England — had written to them 
on his arrival, that judgment had by that time been entered 
against their charter, they continued to recognize the power 
of their former government ; and in October, 1687, its 
officers assembled, as usual, at Hartford. 

Andros came to Hartford while they were in session, 
accompanied by sixty of his troops, and met the Legislature, 
and demanded their charter. After much debate and hesi- 
tation, it was brought, and laid upon the table; when, as 
is familiarly known, the lights were blown out, and the 
charter was seized by Captain Wadsworth, and by him 
secreted in the famous Charter Oak, which, until so lately, 
stood as a monument to the memory of the actor in that 
singular scene. 

Though Andros was thereby foiled of his attempt to seize 
the parchment itself, he assumed to regard the government 
under it as at an end, and appointed civil officers for the 
Colony; to whom, for the present, the people submitted. 
But it was altogether an involuntary submission : they 
still clung to their charter; and upon hearing of the depo- 
sition of Andros by the people of Boston and the surrounding 
country, in April, 1689, they resumed the government which 
had been thus suspended by violence. 

In August of the next year (1690), a question was sub- 
mitted to Ward, Somers, and Treby, three of the most 


eminent lawyers in England,* in respect to the validity of 
the measure ; and their answer was, " that the charter, not 
being surrendered under the common seal, and that surrender 
duly enrolled, nor any judgment of record entered against it, 
the same remained good and valid in law ; " and that the 
corporation might proceed to act as if they had not sub- 
mitted, or a governor had not been appointed. 

With this explanation of the law, it is obvious, that, beyond 
the mere matter of convenience, the custody of the parch- 
ment on which the charter was Written was of no practical 
consequence. If needed for purposes of proof, a certified 
copy from the record was all that was required; and,' if 
carried away by the king's office^ it could not be construed 
into a surrender of its franchises. 

And yet, by the loss of it> not only was it the general 
apprehension that the franchise would be lost) but that the 
rights of property which had been acquired under it would 
also be thereby divested. 

Accordingly, when Governor Bradford surrendered the 
Plymouth Charter to the General Court> he expressly ex- 
cepted certain parcels of land from the effect of the Act, 
although the affairs of the Colony had then been going on 
under that charter for eleven years. 

The case of Nottingham, in England, was still more 
marked. The town-council voted to surrender the charter 
to the king ; " and thereupon," says the reporter, " the mayor, 
pursuant to said order, did take out of the towmchest the 
said charter, and surrendered the same accordingly." 

But a question soon after arose, whether the inhabitants, 
by that surrender, had lost the right of common in certain 
lands which they had theretofore enjoyed, together with 

* Somers was made Lord Chancellor in 1697; and Ward and Treby, Lords-Com- 
missioners of the Great Seal in 1700. Treby was afterwards Chief-Justice of the 
Common Pleas. 


the franchise which they had derived through the charter 
(T. Raym. Rep. 482). 

One of the most important cases in England, involving the 
power of the crown to disfranchise a municipal corporation, 
was that against the city of London, in the 13th of Charles II. , 

The Attorney-General, Finch, afterwards Lord-Chancellor 
Nottingham, and, after him, Robert Sawyer, appeared for 
the crown ; George Treby, already mentioned, and, after 
him, Henry Pollexfen, afterwards Chief-Justice of the Com- 
mon Pleas, for the city. 

Edmund Saunders, a learned, and, in some senses, honest 
but most unscrupulous man, was made Chief-Justice of the 
King's Bench, in order to secure a judgment for the crown. 
He lived just long enough to accomplish his mission, and 
died on the morning of the day on which the judgment was 

One of the questions discussed in the case was, whether 
the franchise of such a corporation could be forfeited. The 
judgment was, that a corporation might be seized, and 
its charter avoided for things " misdone," or omitted to be 
done ; and that the liberties and privileges and franchises of 
the city were taken and seized into the hands of the king. 

And " thus," as the reporter adds, " was the metropolis 
of the kingdom deprived of its charter and privileges until 
1688 ; when King James, terrified at the news of the Prince 
of Orange's intended invasion, thought fit to restore it (Oct. 6), 
and ordered Lord-Chancellor Jeffries to carry it back himself. 
Whereupon Sir George Treby was restored to his place of 
Recorder, and the rest of the magistrates according to the 
ancient constitution of the city" (3 Harg. State Trials, 628). 

The validity of this judgment came directly before the 
King's Bench in the case of Sir James Smith, who had been 
an alderman in February, 1688. An Act of William and 
Mary, passed Aug. 1, 1689, required a certain oath to be 


taken by all persons in office at the time of its passage ; and, 
Sir James having failed to comply with the requirement of 
this statute, the question arose, whether he was, in fact, in 
office at that time or not. If the charter had been annulled 
by the judgment upon the quo warranto, he had never been 
elected to such office ; and, as there had been an Act passed 
in 2d of William and Mary restoring to the city its ancient 
privileges, — in which Act the former judgment is recited, 
and declared to be illegal, — a question arose, whether Sir 
James ought to be restored to office. 

In the argument of the case, it was assumed that the 
question, whether a corporation could be dissolved, had never 
been judicially settled ; and it was contended, that, if it could, 
what had been done in the case of London was not such a 
dissolution. The court held that a corporation might be 
dissolved, but that a judgment of seizin could not be proper 
in such a case ; for, if it was dissolved, to what purpose 
should it be seized? and that the judgment in this case did 
not dissolve the corporation. 

As a consequence, they held that Sir James was duly 
elected an alderman, and should have taken the oath ac- 
cordingly (4 Mod. Eep. 53). 

But enough has been quoted from the histories, and books 
of reports, of that day, to show how very vague and un- 
certain and varying were the notions of the courts and 
lawyers and politicians of the time upon the subject of 
municipal corporations, and the nature of the grants by 
which they held their franchises. The judgment of one 
was declared futile by another ; and the crown exhausted 
the power and ingenuity of its highest officers to get pos- 
session of a bit of parchment, under the idea that it could 
thereby annihilate the rights which it had solemnly granted, 
without the form even of a judicial trial. 

No wonder, then, that, in this state of legal science, the 
Colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut clung so strongly 



to the parchment and sign-manual, and the wax with its 
impress of the great seal of England j which, to their eyes, 
seemed like the ark of the covenant of old to the children 
of Israel, to guaranty to them the rights and individuality of 
a favored people. And, though it is now nigh two hundred 
years since it lost its prestige and its charm as a represen- 
tative of power, no one can, even at this day, study the 
Charter of Massachusetts Bay in its original, as preserved 
at the State House, or its duplicate as seen at Salem, 
without associating with it, as an instrument, the early 
deeds and fame of the founders of the Colony. 

Messrs. Adams, Brigham, and Chandler were ap- 
pointed a Committee to resist, before the Legislature, 
any infringement of the Society's corporate name. 

The meeting was briefly addressed on various topics 
by Messrs. Shaw, Ellis, Aspinwall, Bowditch, Deane, 
Gray, Clifford, N. Appleton, Paige, and Chandler. 


The Society held a special meeting at their rooms in 
Tremont Street, on Tuesday evening, Feb. 1, to express 
their respect for the character and services of their 
late eminent associate, William Hickling Prescott, 
who died in Boston, on Friday, Jan. 28, 1859. 

Among other arrangements for the occasion, the 
beautiful bust of the lamented historian, by Richard S. 
Greenough, and copies of his various Works, presented 
to the Society by himself, and placed upon the officers' 


table, were touching memorials of the loss which had 
been sustained. 

The meeting was called to order, at half-past seven 
o'clock, by the President, Hon. Robert C. Winthrop ; 
who, immediately on taking the chair, addressed the 
members as follows : — 

Gentlemen of the Massachusetts Historical Society, — 
You are already but too well aware of the event which has 
called us together. Our beautiful rooms are lighted this 
evening for the first time ; but the shadow of an afflicting 
bereavement rests darkly and deeply upon our walls and upon 
our hearts. We are here to pay a farewell tribute to him 
whom we were ever most proud to welcome within our che- 
rished circle of associates, but whose sunny smile is now left 
to us only as we see it yonder, in the cold though faithful 
outlines of art. We have come to deplore the loss of one 
who was endeared to us all by so many of the best gifts and 
graces which adorn our nature, and whose gentle and genial 
spirit was the charm of every company in which he mingled. 
We have come especially to manifest our solemn sense, that 
one of the great Historical Lights of our country and of our 
age has been withdrawn from us for ever ; and to lay upon 
the closing grave of our departed brother some feeble but 
grateful acknowledgment of the honor he had reflected upon 
American literature, and of the renown he had acquired for 
the name of an American historian. 

For indeed, gentlemen, we have come to this commemora- 
tion not altogether in tears. We are rather conscious at this 
moment of an emotion of triumph, — breaking through the 
sorrow which we cannot so soon shake off, — as we recall the 
discouragements and infirmities under which he had pressed 
forward so successfully to so lofty a mark, and as we remem- 
ber, too, how modestly he wore the wreath which he had so 


gallantly won. And we thank God this night, that although 
he was taken away from us while many more years of happy 
and useful life might still have been hoped for him, and while 
unfinished works of the highest interest were still awaiting 
his daily and devoted labors, he was yet spared until he had 
completed so many imperishable monuments of his genius, 
and until he had done enough — enough — at once for his 
own fame and for the glory of his country. " Satis, satis est, 
quod vixit, vel ad astatem vel ad gloriam." 

Nor will we omit to acknowledge it as a merciful dispensa- 
tion of Providence, that he was taken at last by no lingering 
disease, and after no protracted decline, but in the very way 
which those who knew him best were not unaware that he 
himself both expected and desired. Inheriting a name which 
had been associated with the noblest patriotism in one gene- 
ration, and with the highest judicial wisdom in another ; and 
having imparted a fresh lustre to that name, and secured for 
it a title to an even wider and more enduring remembrance, — 
he was permitted to approach the close of his sixty-third 
year in the enjoyment of as much happiness, as much respect, 
as much affection, as could well accompany any human 

" Then, with no fiery, throbbing pain, 
No cold gradations of decay, 
Death broke at once the vital chain, 
And freed his soul the nearest way." 

It is not for me, gentlemen, to attempt any delineation of 
his character, or any description of his writings. There are 
those among us who have known him longer than myself, and 
who have established a better title to pass judgment upon his 
productions. Let me only say, in conclusion, that, imme- 
diately on hearing of his sudden death, permission was asked 
for this Society to pay the last tribute to his remains ; but it 
was decided to be more consonant with his own unostenta- 
tious disposition, that all ceremonious obsequies should be 
omitted. Having followed his hearre yesterday, therefore, 



only as friends, we have assembled now as a Society, of which 
for more then twenty years he was one of the most brilliant 
ornaments, to give formal expression to those feelings, which, 
in justice either to him, to ourselves, or to the community of 
which he was the pride, could not longer be restrained. 

It is for you, gentlemen, to propose whatever in your judg- 
ment may be appropriate for the occasion. 

At the close of the President's remarks, Mr. Ticknor 
rose and said : — 

Mr. President, — You have Avell told us why we are here 
at this unwonted hour. We feel the truth of every word you 
have uttered. The name that shone brighter than any other 
that was ever set on the rolls of our Society, in its distinctive 
attribute as a Society for the promotion of historical research, 
has been stricken from them, so far as such a name can be, by 
the hand of death. And we come to mourn together for our 
loss. We do not come to praise the friend and associate whom 
it has pleased a wise and merciful God to take away from us. 
His praise is beyond our reach. It extends as far as letters 
are valued or known. We can neither add to it nor diminish 
it. We come to mourn together. 

I have no words of formal eulogy to offer. In this moment 
of sorrow, I cannot say what I would. But this I am able to 
say, — and it becomes the occasion that it should be said, — 
that to those of us who knew him from the days of his bright 
boyhood, down to his latest years, when he stood before the 
world crowned with its honors, the elements that constituted 
the peculiar charm of his character seemed always to be the 
same ; that his life — his whole life — was to an extraordinary 
degree a happy one, governed by a prevalent sense of duty 
to God and love to man ; and that he has been taken from us 
with unimpaired faculties, and with a heart whose affections 
grew warmer and more tender to the last. 


At the end of a life like this, although suddenly terminated, 
he naturally left few wishes for posthumous fulfilment ; and 
the few that he did leave were of the simplest and most 
unpretending sort. But one was most characteristic and 
touching ; and, as it has been accomplished, it may fitly be 
mentioned here. He desired that, after death, his remains 
might rest for a time in the cherished room where were gath- 
ered the intellectual treasures amidst which he had found so 
much of the happiness of his life. His wish was fulfilled. 
There he lay, — it was only yesterday, sir, — his manly form 
neither wasted nor shrunk by disease ; the features, which 
had expressed and inspired so much love, still hardly touched 
by the effacing fingers of death : there he lay, and the great 
lettered dead of all ages and climes and countries seemed to 
look down upon him in their earthly and passionless immor- 
tality, and claim that his name should hereafter be imperish- 
ably united with theirs. And then, when this his wish had 
been fulfilled, and he was borne forth from those doors which 
he had never entered except to give happiness, but which he 
was never to enter again, — then he was brought into the 
temple of God, where he had been used to worship, and into 
a company of the living such as the obsequies of no man of 
letters have ever before assembled in this land ; and there a 
passionate tribute of tears and mourning was paid to the 
great benefits he had conferred on the world, and to his true 
and loving nature, which would have been dearer to his heart 
than all the intellectual triumphs of his life. 

And now that all this is past ; now that we have laid him 
beside the father whom he so truly reverenced, — ■ whom we 
all so reverenced, sir, — and the mother whom he so tenderly 
loved, and who was loved of all, and especially of all in sorrow 
and suffering, — now what remains for us to do? It is little, 
very little. We can express our respect, our admiration, and 
our love ; we can mourn with those who were nearest 
and dearest to him. These, indeed, constitute our incumbent 


duty ; and therefore, sir, I propose to you now, even in this 
season of our bitter sorrow, to fulfil it, and, as becomes such 
a moment, to fulfil it in the fewest and the simplest words. 

Mr. Ticknor then read the following resolutions : — 

Resolved, That, as members of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, we look back with gratitude and pride upon the 
brilliant career of our late associate, William Hickling Pres- 
cott, who, not urged by his social position to a life of literary 
toil, and discouraged by an infirmity which seemed to forbid 
success, yet chose deliberately, in his youth, the difficult path 
of historical research, and, by the force of genius, of courage, 
and of a cheerful patience, achieved for himself, with the full 
assent of Christendom, an honored place in the company of 
the great masters of history in all countries and in all ages. 

Resolved, That, while we mourn the loss of one who has 
thus made our country and the world his debtors, we yet, in 
this moment of our sudden bereavement, grieve rather that 
we miss the associate and friend whom we loved, as he was 
loved of all who knew him, for the beauty, the purity, and 
the transparent sincerity, of his nature ; for his open and 
warm sympathies ; and for the faithful affections, to which 
years and the changes of life only added freshness and 

Resolved, That we request the President of this Society to 
transmit these resolutions to the family of our lamented and 
honored associate, expressing to them the deep sympathy we 
feel in their affliction, and commending them to the merciful 
God in whom he trusted, and to the influences of that reli- 
gion in which he was wont to find consolation under trial and 

In rising to second these resolutions, Mr. Sparks 
offered the following remarks : — 


Mr. President, — An intimate acquaintance with our de- 
parted associate for a long term of years, and a friendship and 
affectionate esteem growing stronger as those years advanced, 
have produced ties and sympathies which could not be severed 
without leaving a deep impression on my mind and feelings. 
The qualities of his heart, of his intellect and character, were 
such as to win the steady confidence and attachment of all 
who knew him, as many of us who are here present have 
known him. But, after what has been so well and so justly 
said on these topics, I shall forbear to enlarge upon them. I 
rise, therefore, mainly to express my entire accordance with 
what has been said, and especially with the resolutions which 
have been offered. 

I will, however, briefly touch upon those traits of his mind 
which qualified him for the remarkable success he attained 
as a historian. The highest requisites for a writer in this 
department of literature are a love of truth, impartiality, a 
discriminating judgment, and a resolute purpose to procure 
all the facts that can be found, enabling him to render full 
justice to his subject. These requisites he possessed in an 
eminent degree. Read his works through, and you will find 
the evidence of them impressed upon every page. You will 
find no extravagant theories, no overwrought descriptions to 
disguise the faults or foibles of a favorite hero, none of the 
resorts of the casuist to sustain or defend a doubtful policy ; 
in short, none of those intricate and questionable by-paths 
of opinion or assertion into which historians are sometimes 
led by their personal antipathies or partialities. Truth was 
his first aim, as far as he could detect it in the conflicting 
records of events; and his next aim was to impress this truth, 
in its genuine colors, upon the reader. The characters and 
motives of men were weighed in the scales of justice, as they 
appeared to him after careful research and mature thought. 
In all these qualities of an accomplished historian, we may 
safely challenge for him a comparison with any other writer. 


In his unceasing efforts and extraordinary success in pro- 
curing the materials for his various historical compositions, 
he has certainly surpassed all other writers. Previous histo- 
rians had, to some extent, made similar efforts ; but I can 
say, with entire confidence, after my historical studies, such 
as they have been, that I know of no historian, in any age 
or language, whose researches into the materials with which 
he was to work have been so extensive, thorough, and 
profound, as those of Mr. Prescott. He was unwearied in 
his search after original documents, wherever they were to 
be found ; never relying on secondary authorities, when it 
was possible to obtain those that were original, or more to be 
depended upon. And it is wonderful with what success 
these efforts were attended, considering the sources he 
explored, particularly in Spain, where they had been for a 
long time, in a great measure, secluded from examination. 
But his perseverance, and, more than all, the peculiar and 
undisguised traits of his character, inspiring confidence in 
those who had this prejudice against allowing those materials 
to be exposed to the world, seemed to unlock every secret 
depository, especially after these traits had been so clearly 
unfolded in his first historical work. His obligations for 
these signal favors are freely and fully acknowledged in his 
prefaces ; and, in the use he has made of the materials thus 
acquired, no one has had occasion to regret the implicit 
reliance that was placed on his discretion, judgment, and 
integrity. But, in all this, there was no ostentation or 
parade. He quietly pursued his course, devoting his time 
and thoughts to the pursuit he had chosen, and glad to 
gather from every quarter whatever would give more 
weight, character, and force to the work in which he was 
engaged, and thus contribute to enlighten the public, and 
produce the result he desired. 

The theme is a broad one, Mr. President ; but I will not 
encroach farther on the time, which may be employed with 


more effect by others. I will only repeat my cordial assent 
to what has been said by the gentlemen who have spoken, 
and to the sentiments expressed in the resolutions, and 
second those resolutions. 

Dr. Walker, President of Harvard University, then 
spoke as follows : — 

Mr. President, — I am the only classmate of Mr. Prescott 
now present. My recollections of him go back to our col- 
lege-days, when he stood among us one of the youngest, one 
of the most joyous and light-hearted, in classic learning 
one of the most accomplished, without any enemies, with 
nothing but friends. I remember also the accident — I think 
it happened in our junior year — which withdrew him from 
us for some time, and was followed by permanent injury to 
his sight. Never was there a more instructive lesson on the 
vanity of human judgments as to what is good or evil in 
passing events. We all lamented it as a great calamity ; 
yet it helped, at least, to induce that earnestness and con- 
centration of life and pursuit which has won for him a 
world-wide influence and fame. 

Of his subsequent career, there are many here who are 
better qualified to speak than I am. But I must be permitted 
to say one thing which was true of him from the first to the 
last. Of all the men whom I have known, I have never 
known one so little changed by the conventionalities of 
society, and the hard trial of success and prosperity. At 
college, and on the morning of the day he died, he was the 
same in his dispositions ; the same in his outward manners ; 
the same in his habits of thought and feeling ; the same, to 
a remarkable degree, even in his attitudes and looks. It was 
because his character was a true and real character. He 
never aspired to become the representative of a new move- 
ment or a new idea. He was content to be himself. Hence 


it was, as I believe, that he suffered so little from the envies 
and jealousies and heart-burnings which sometimes find their 
way even among literary men. He was one of that happy 
few whom all love to hear praised. 

Mr. President, I am oppressed by the occasion and the 
scene. The shadow of death is upon us ; but it is a beautiful 
and accomplished life which we are called to consider, and it 
will do us good to ponder it well. 

The meeting was then addressed by Hon. John C. 
Gray : — 

Mr. President, — If I have any right to say any thing on 
this occasion, it is derived from the fact, — to which my ex- 
cellent friend who moved the resolutions will bear witness, — 
that few here can have been in closer personal contact with 
Mr. Prescott than I have been. It was my good fortune, forty 
years since, to travel with him through the most interesting 
portion of Europe. We all know, that, with fellow-travellers, 
acquaintance ripens rapidly. No man can bear better witness 
to his kind and genial spirit, — a spirit which had always a 
kind word for those to whom it could afford gratification, and 
which never had an ill word to utter to, or in respect to, any 
one. If he had the rare lot of being honored without being 
envied, — and who had it more ? — he reaped no more than 
he sowed. He was not proud of his own distinction, and still 
less did he entertain any uncomfortable feelings on account 
of the distinction of others. His good wishes and assistance 
were always at the service of those who had need of them. 

I must have seen, of course, very much of the charac- 
teristics and temper of our friend, in such varieties of 
incident as happen to all fellow-travellers ; some of them 
trifling in themselves, but not less apt, perhaps, to bring 
out uncomfortable feeling than more important emergencies 
which occur less frequently : and I can bear witness to his 


genial, kind, and cheerful spirit, — a cheerfulness that was 
always at the highest point, yet always sustained. I have, 
of course, had much conversation with him, and heard him 
speak much of others, — not excepting the unfortunate 
young man who all but deprived him of sight, — and he 
never spoke of any one in other than the kindest and most 
Christian spirit ; for, sir, he was a Christian, and in this, as in 
all other respects, alike free from ostentation and disguise. 

I will not detain the Society longer. They will excuse me 
if I say that I could not suffer this opportunity to pass — the 
last, perhaps, which I shall have — without offering such open 
testimony to his character as was prompted by my feelings, 
and as I was qualified to render by my personal acquaintance, 
if in no other respect. I will, however, close with the narra- 
tion of an incident. After Mr. Prescott had finished his first 
great work, so little was he inspired with a fervid ambition, 
or any thing like an inordinate desire for distinction, that I 
am told he said to his late honored father, that he had had 
the gratification of writing the work, and that he should place 
it on his shelf, and leave it for those who should come after 
him. He was dissuaded from so doing, and was encouraged 
to give it to the world ; and, sir, much as we have held in 
remembrance the services of that honored man, his father, 
if what he said to his son was the means of bringing that 
son's works before the public, I think we shall agree that he 
could have rendered few services of greater moment to the 

Mr. Sparks again rose, and, addressing the President, 
said, — 

If you will allow me, sir, I will detain the Society with 
the mention of an incident connected with the publication of 
Mr. Prescott's first work, — his " Ferdinand and Isabella/' — 
which the anecdote of Mr. Gray has called to my mind. It is 
known that Mr. Prescott's eyesight wis then so feeble, that 



it was difficult for him to read ; and, for the purpose of care- 
fully preparing the composition of his work, he had it printed 
in large type, in quarto form, so that he could read it, and 
correct it for the press, instead of revising it in manuscript. 
After it was finished, he sent me his two volumes, printed as 
I have described, and requested me to read them. I did so, 
of course, with very great pleasure and profit, and with no 
little surprise at the success of the writer, under his infirmity 
of sight, in accomplishing the work in so thorough and 
finished a manner. I returned the volumes ; and, soon after, 
saw Mr. Prescott. He asked me, with a good deal of diffi- 
dence, what I thought of the book. I told him there could 
be but one opinion about it ; that I had read the book with 
great delight, and thought he had written one of the most 
successful works of its kind that had come before the public. 
" But perhaps/' said he, " you have read it under the bias 
of some degree of partiality and friendly feeling." I told 
him I could not say as to that ; but I had been exceedingly 
gratified with the perusal of the book. He then asked, " Do 
you think it should be published ? " — " To be sure," I re- 
plied : " have you not written it to be published ? " He still 
expressed doubts, and enumerated objections. In the first 
place, the subject was not one likely to interest American 
readers : it related to Spain, and times long past. In the 
next place, he doubted very much whether the composition 
and execution of the work were of such a character as 
would make it attractive. His opinion was, in short, that 
it would not succeed. Of course, I used what arguments I 
could, and told him that no impression of that sort could be 
entertained by any mind but his own. I left him, however, 
in that state of uncertainty. 

Mr. Gray has explained how he was induced to publish 
the work at last. The anecdote is characteristic of Mr. 
Prescott, and illustrates his modesty, and entire freedom 
from self-estimation. 


The meeting was next addressed by the Hon. Josiah 
Quincy, who was admitted a member of the Society the 
very year in which Mr. Prescott was born : — 

I have been particularly requested, as one who has been 
a member of this Society for more than sixty years, to make 
some expression of my feelings on this occasion, in memory 
of this distinguished citizen and exemplary man ; otherwise I 
should not have ventured to obtrude them in the presence of 
so many gentlemen, who, from similarity of age, of pursuits, 
of taste, of genius, and long, intimate personal familiarity, are 
so much better qualified than I am to do justice to his singu- 
lar and rare merits. As an historian, the world has already 
uttered all that can be said. No tribute can be paid to his 
worth and his talents, in this respect, which has not been 
already anticipated and expressed in his lifetime. 

His merits were singular, and such as society does not 
often witness, and to which it has seldom the opportunity 
to do justice. He was the son of a father who, in purity 
of life, in elevation of sentiment, in soundness of judgment, 
had, among his contemporaries, no superior, and was sur- 
passed by few, if any, in talents or legal knowledge. Had 
his character been of a common type, he would have sunk 
under the lustre of his parent's virtues, or been content to 
live in the enjoyment and imitation of them. But, inspired 
and directed by the same spirit, he saw, that, at the bar and 
in the senate-chamber, there was no honor to be acquired 
which his father had not attained ; and, instinctively shunning 
both, he took a path in which intellectual power was less 
severely tested, and its rewards far more wide-spread and 

It is not requisite here to speak of the success and un- 
qualified renown with which he has crowned and made 
immortal his memory. His merits were not only singular, 
but rare. Few men ever rose to such an extent and height 


of reputation, without, in look, language, or demeanor, indi- 
cating somewhat or somewhere a sense of the honors he had 
acquired. But William H. Prescott's modesty was as innate 
and deep-seated as his genius. The delicacy of his tempera- 
ment shrunk from public notice and praise. To the merits 
of others, he was just and liberal ; concerning his own, 
reserved or silent. 

While cultivating the fields of literature, he practised and 
exemplified all the virtues, and gave new splendor and a 
wider sphere to the intellect he had inherited. 

His life is a lesson, an incentive and example. Truth, 
purity, unaffected humility, combined with steady, persever- 
ing, wisely directed labor, characterized his whole course. 

An accident in early life had nearly quenched his corporeal 
light. So much more his intellectual light seemed to burn 
inward, dispersing the veil of corporeal darkness, and re- 
vealing to the world a luminary casting a light on past time, 
in which all future time will rejoice. 

The meeting was then addressed by ~Rev. Dr. Fro- 
thingham, Prof. C. C. Felton, Hon. James Savage, 
and George T. Curtis, Esq. 

Mr. President, — Before a company where there are so 
many eloquent tongues, I should not have the presumption 
to say any thing, should have no apology for saying any 
thing, of our dear associate, so lately taken away from us, 
if it were not for /the memories that travel back so far as 
the time when neither of us had reached the full age of 
manhood, for the companionship that I had the privilege 
of enjoying with him afterwards, and especially for the sacred 
relation in which I stood to him for a number of years in the 
ripest and most distinguished portion of his days. While 


he was a student in the University, I was brought into close 
neighborhood with him, and something like official connection. 
This was just before that severe calamity befell him ; which 
one is yet hardly justified in calling a calamity, so manfully, 
so sweetly, so wondrously did he not only endure it, but 
convert it to the highest purposes of a faithful, scholarly, 
serviceable life. Before he published the first of those 
histories which have given him so proud a place in the 
literature, not only of his own country, but of the British 
and Continental world, it was my happiness to be engaged 
with him year after year in examining the students of the 
College in the modern languages, where his attendance was 
as freely given as if he had nothing else to do, and as if 
his eyes were as sound as his intellect, and where his 
presence was always a delight. After this, in the year 
1841, he became a worshipper at the First Church, where 
a holier bond was formed, and where its minister might 
learn, from an example more shining than his lessons, the 
beauty of a reverent, thoughtful, dutiful Christian mind. 

These are my claims, Mr. President, to say a few words ; 
and very few are all that it will become me to say, in the 
midst of so much admiration and sorrow. They shall be 
words narrowed into one particular direction, — my concep- 
tion of his private and personal worth ; and this not with 
the slightest thought of an intent to depict his moral portrait, 
not to undertake to analyze in the least degree the elements 
of his fine nature, but simply to convey, with a touch or 
two, my sense of what he was, rather than of what he 
accomplished. Let others tell of his labors and their splen- 
did success. Let these be set forth in all the terms of 
eulogy for the instruction and encouragement of youths 
and men, and as a just tribute to his own fame. As for 
me, I cannot think of these things now. Pardon me for 
, saying such a word in a company where so many are loyal 
to Learning as to a sovereign mistress, and so many are 


enjoying the bright prizes of society ; but, to my thinking, 
when we have just borne away our dead, literary achievement 
does not seem so much as it did, and the best-deserved 
applause has something hollow in its sound. Let me look 
at our valued associate only in the light of his gentle, 
cheerful, steadfast, noble disposition. That light came all 
from within. I am willing to look away at present from 
the broader but inferior glory. 

The man was more than his books. His character was 
loftier than all his reputation. So simple-minded and so 
great-minded ; so keen in his perceptions, but so kind in 
his judgments ; so resolute, but so unpretending ; so con- 
siderate of every one, and so tasking of himself; so full of 
the truest and warmest affections ; so merry in his temper, 
without overleaping a single due bound ; such spirit, but 
such equanimity ; so much thoughtfulness, without the least 
cast of sickliness ; doing good as by the instinct of sponta- 
neous activity, and doing labor without a wrinkle or a strain ; 
unswerving in his integrity, and with the nicest sense of 
honor ; whom no disadvantage could dishearten, no prosperity 
corrupt, no honors and plaudits elate or alter one whit ; 
modest, as if he had never done any thing ; retaining 
through life all the artlessness of the highest wisdom ; with 
a liberal heart and an open hand; the ingenuousness of 
youth flashing to the last from his frank face ; walking in 
sympathy with his fellows, and humbly before God. Ah ! 
Mr. President, we ought to make some allowance for those 
who, born with a less genial and upward nature, of a more 
stubborn material or ruder shape, with fewer of those native 
endowments and appetences which come direct from the 
Father of spirits, are unable to perform so much. 

I will do no more than repeat a single anecdote, so 
characteristic of our lamented friend, that, simple as it is, 
it will bear to be recorded as a representative fact. His 
mother — and, truly, who was ever descended from a nobler 


parentage on both sides than he ? — his mother, as she sat 
with me one day in my study, said, " This is the very room 
where William was shut up for so many months in utter 
darkness. In all that trying season, when so much had to 
be endured, and our hearts were ready to fail us for fear, 
I never in a single instance groped my way across the 
apartment to take my place at his side, that he did not 
salute me with some hearty expression of good cheer, — 
not in a single instance ; as if we were the patients, and 
it was his place to comfort us." No word of complaint 
through all that dismal period; no sigh of impatience or 
regret. He was not content even with the perfect silence 
of an unrepining will ; but he must sing in that imprisonment 
and night. Is this not a representative example ? We can- 
not be surprised at any thing that followed after this. Was 
not this the man to win crowns of laurel and oak, and to 
wear them as if they were the natural growth of his hair? 

And now that he has been just so long gone that the 
wound of his loss is fresh, and the grief sore, and yet there 
has been time for the shock to subside, and reflection to 
claim its healing office, I think we must feel it to be good 
for him and us that he was taken away by a noiseless 
appointment and a swift angel, just as it was, • — just as 
it was; that the second touch of his malady was so abso- 
lute : — 

" No pale gradations quenched his ray, 
No twilight mists." 

u Felix, Agricola, non vitas tantiim claritate, sed etiam op- 
portunitate mortis." He was taken in the midst of his 
honorable toils, his high faculties, his bright name, his full 
tides of intellect and love, his troops and armies of admiring 
regards, on the verge of the grand climacteric of his well- 
used years. No one will take up and carry on his unfinished 
tasks. Who can? who need? We can bear that deprivation. 


But we do not know how we should have borne the slow 
crumbling of so rare a mansion ; the crippling of so sweet an 
energy ; the clouding over, deeper and deeper, of that clear 
intellect; the fitful freezing and thawing, stopping and flow- 
ing, of the currents of the diviner life. We will hide our 
eyes from that terrible peril. We will give thanks that he 
was taken, though snatched, from so dreary an evil. All is 
well with him now. He is emancipated, and not exposed or 

" These shall swim after death, with their choice deeds 
Shining on their white shoulders." 


Mr. President, — I thank you for the opportunity you 
allow me to add my voice to the voices of those who have 
given utterance here to the universal grief for this late 
public and private bereavement. Sir, I cannot say one word 
which will add to the fame of William H. Prescott ; but 
hereafter it will be a consolation to me, through all my life, 
that I had the privilege of mingling my tears with the 
tears of those who were nearest to him through the longest 
period of his life, under these circumstances, in this vene- 
rable presence of the living, and the awful presence of the 
great departed, whose pictured and marble forms and printed 
works surround us. No one knew Mr. Prescott but to love 
him. It was not my privilege to know him in his early 
years ; but I have been an acquaintance, I hope I may say 
a friend, certainly a lover, of his, during the greater portion 
of my own life ; and I think I may say with truth, that no 
death in this or any other community would touch with 
affliction more hearts than have been and will be saddened 
by his death. 

Not only those (and there are thousands) who knew him 
personally, but those who knew him only in the printed 
page, — those who knew him in those beautiful works, — 


seemed to know the loveliness of his character, and to feel 
for their author all the tenderness of personal affection. It is 
a saying, that " the style is the man ; " and of no great author 
in the literature of the world is that saying more true than 
of him whose loss we mourn. For in the transparent simpli- 
city and undimmed beauty and candor of his style were read 
the endearing qualities of his soul ; so that his personal friends 
are found wherever literature is known, and the love for him 
is co-extensive with the world of letters, — not limited to 
those who speak our Anglo-Saxon mother-language, to the 
literature of which he has contributed such splendid works, 
but co-extensive with the civilized languages of the human 

Mr. President, on the 5th of last May, — the day of my 
embarkation for Europe, — I called at Mr. Prescott's house, 
knowing how earnest and affectionate would be the inquiries 
made with regard to him by those friends of his whom I 
should chance to meet abroad, and anxious to give to them 
the last best news I could upon the state of his health. And 
so, indeed, it was. No sooner had I touched my foot upon the 
English shores, than questions with regard to his condition 
were addressed to me by numerous English friends ; and I 
happened to meet some of those who had known him best and 
most affectionately in this country and in Europe. It was a 
satisfaction to me, that I had it in my power to give them the 
latest news on a subject which seemed to interest the heart of 
the whole literary world. 

Mr. President, scholars everywhere will feel this bereave- 
ment ; literary and scientific societies will notice it by com- 
memorative rites. What a cloud will come over that fair and 
romantic land, whose history and literature he has done so 
much to adorn ! In Germany, where his profound learning 
and his vast acquirements in the department of history were 
thoroughly appreciated, and where his name is one of the 
greatest, — there, too, will his loss be deeply felt. In beau- 



tiful and unfortunate Italy, of whose literature he had early 
felt the charm, and over whose storied sites he had wandered 
in his youth, the name of Prescott has become a classic name. 
Ay, sir, more than that. In the lovely land where historical 
composition had its origin, — in the land of Hellas, redeemed 
again to freedom, letters, and art, — even there the name of 
Prescott has become a classic name. Sir, it was only last 
July that I had the pleasure of looking upon the works of 
our distinguished countryman, and of his lifelong friend who 
introduced these resolutions, standing side by side, in the 
University of Athens, with those of the illustrious native 

Sir, this sad news will speed over the earth and sea on the 
wings of the lightning. With the loveliness of returning 
spring, the announcement will be heard, even to the shores of 
Greece, that a great and pure light has been withdrawn from 
the Western World. It will come upon the festive rites of 
that most ancient Oriental church, that has survived so many 
ages of woe ; and, under the matchless glories of the sky of 
Attica, a sense of bereavement and a wail of sorrow will min- 
gle with the festivities and Christian welcomes of that joyous 
season. Be assured, sir, that, before the summer comes, elo- 
quent eulogies upon the character and works of our departed 
countryman will be pronounced before crowded audiences of 
Hellenic youth, in the language of Thucydides and Xenophon, 
in that same illustrious Athens where those great ancients 
lived whose renown has made her name immortal. 

Sir, this death of Mr. Prescott, which has fallen with such 
appalling suddenness upon us, struck me in a peculiar man- 
ner. It so happened, that, owing to a multiplicity of occupa- 
tions since my return from Europe, I had not seen my friend, 
as I will venture to call him : and last Saturday, having a 
leisure day, I said to myself, " I will go early to town ; and 
the first thing I do shall be to call on Mr. Prescott, and tell 
him something of what his friends abroad have said to me." 


Passing from my own house to the railroad, I stepped over to 
the Post Office, and took my morning papers ; and, on opening 
one of them, the first words that struck my astonished eyes 
were those announcing the death of William Hickling Pres- 

Sir, I deplore, and shall deplore to my dying day, that I 
have not seen and conversed with Mr. Prescott for some 
months past ; that, after parting with him in May, I met him 
only at the gate of the tomb to say a last farewell : but I 
shall console myself with the thought, that I have had the 
opportunity of adding my feeble voice to the earnest and 
eloquent testimonials to his great name and his lovely cha- 
racter on this occasion. One of those great writers and 
teachers of the historic art to whom I have alluded — Thu- 
cydides — speaks of " that simplicity in which nobleness of 
nature most largely shares," as the highest style of man ; and 
surely to no man, before or since the days of the profound 
historian of the Peloponnesian war, do those words apply with 
more pertinency and force than to the character of Prescott. 
And, as he lived, so he died. 

Great as the shock was, sad as this bereavement is, bitter 
as are our feelings in the first moments of our loss, we must 
all acknowledge that he accomplished a noble and brilliant 
life ; and, though he left works unfinished, whenever that 
great summons came, it would find him so employed, that 
works would still be left unfinished. For, Mr. President, it is 
not the lot of man to finish his tasks here below : that can 
only be done in the world above. But, sir, as my reverend 
friend has said, he was called away in the midst of happiness, 
as if by an angelic messenger. The summons came in a 
moment. It found him enjoying the light of the domestic 
hearth ; and, in an instant, his spirit was translated into the 
light of Eternal Love. That, Mr. President, was the eutha- 
nasia of our friend and associate. 



Mr. President, — Enough has been said here, by those 
who enjoyed the acquaintance of Mr. Prescott, to afford to 
others a just estimate of his character ; for few could have 
acquaintance with him that was not an intimate one. He was 
transparent in such uncommon degree, that, in a short time, 
whoever was acquainted with him might become conversant 
with his character. Sir, it does not always happen, — but I 
thank Heaven the instances are not rare, — in which from a 
glorious father is derived a son with strong resemblance. 
Here have been three generations of this stock claiming high- 
est regard from the people of Massachusetts, and for very 
diverse qualities. He who commanded on Bunker Hill is 
known only, but universally, for his intrepidity. Brave to a 
degree beyond what belongs to the general spirit of soldiery, 
having labored all night in throwing up the works on that 
commanding spot; entitled, as his commander thought, to 
defend them through the day, — yet was he not a braver 
man than his son William, distinguished for widely different 
public service. The stainless honor of Judge Prescott needed 
not to be shown in deadly combat ; but whoever weighed his 
merit felt that he would have sustained at every hazard, even 
of instant death, the calm assertion of duty in vindication of 
the rights of his fellow-men. 

After the full and appropriate estimate of the private vir- 
tues and literary reputation, the endowments and acquisitions, 
of our late associate, I would ask, confidently, for a review of 
his characteristic and hereditary distinction, — of unusual 
bravery in his pursuits. What is the first requisite the Muse 
of History demands of her admirers ? The truth, in every 
respect ; the truth, in spite of all opposition ; the truth with 
mildness, and with the affection and dignity that accompanied 
every word that Mr. Prescott ever said on paper or in the 


utterance of speech. Sir, he, more than any other man, I 
think, of my acquaintance, — and I refer to the delightful 
illustrations of his classmate, and to the more delightful re- 
marks which came from his religious instructor ; I refer to 
what is known by his most intimate friends, — he was a man 
who could stand up before the universe, and challenge any 
aspersion. There never was a man who spoke ill of him. 
He eminently is exposed to the woe that, it is said, belongs to 
him " of whom all men speak well." 

Mr. President, I ought not to have said half as much as I 
have ; and yet, though it is late, I did not dare to sit still anjr 
longer, for fear that a sufficiently impressive intonation should 
not be given to the highest merit of that man's character. 
It is not his distinction attained in letters. It is not that 
the world round, where the English language is read, and the 
various languages into which his works have been translated, 
— the French, the German, the Spanish, and the Italian, — 
there is not remaining on this earth a man of higher literary 
merit ; I will not say, distinction. There may be one or 
another superior by metaphysical acquisition, by mathematical 
endowments, or diffusing good throughout the world ; but my 
departed friend never knew the temptation of adopting an 
equivocal expression, or even the metaphysical refinement 
that conceals one. No man could ever charge him with it. 
He was solely seeking for Truth in the best recesses where 
Truth is found ; and he has done more than any other living 
man to bring her forth in her full majesty. Greater difficul- 
ties no writer encountered, and none ever triumphed over 
them more fully. I would, sir, refer more particularly to 
what was so admirably touched upon by his classmate and 
by his religious instructor ; and I have looked also for many 
years upon the very same, — happiness I call it ; and happi- 
ness it will be, when we think of it, — upon his happiness 
while suffering from what is commonly called an accident, — 
a casualty we will call it (but if there be a Providence in any 


thing, not to govern nations, not to regulate this sidereal 
system only, but applying to each individual, then that mis- 
fortune, as it seems, was the greatest good); upon his happi- 
ness, when he was submitted to that awful darkness to which 
no ray of light was permitted. His father and his mother 
and his sister may well have hoped that it should be well with 
William, even under such a disaster. But he himself, for now 
near thirty years, has manifested to all the world the blessing 
which our great religious poet has illustrated for his own 
case, in the prayer, — 

" So much the rather thou, Celestial Light! 
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers 


Mr. President, — Standing less near, in age and in associa- 
tion, to him whom this whole community now mourns, than 
those who have addressed you, I yet desire to lay an humble 
tribute of admiration upon his tomb ; feeling how true it is, 
that we have now lost one, who, in the language of these 
resolutions, will be admitted everywhere to be entitled to the 
name and the rank of a great historian ; and who, in his rela- 
tion to us, added to this title that of a near and dear friend. 

I have said, sir, that we have now lost him. I should cor- 
rect that expression. We have, indeed, lost the daily greeting, 
the friendly grasp, the genial smile, — all that was the 
earthly presence of this illustrious writer and beloved friend. 
All unfinished, too, — as when some great sculptor is stricken 
down with the chisel in his hand, — lies the last of those 
splendid monuments which his genius led him to undertake 
for the delight and instruction of mankind. Yet how much 
remains ! That reputation, co-extensive with Christendom, 
which has brought so much honor upon our country, upon our 
city, and upon us ; that example of victory over personal 


infirmities, and of victory over the allurements of a social 
position exempt from the necessity of toil, ■ — ■ an example 
which has carried, and is yet to carry, consolation and encou- 
ragement to the struggling scholar in all lands, — which 
appeals, and is yet to appeal, so powerfully to the wealthy 
youth of our own country ; that beautiful character, which 
has caused a whole community to feel as if touched by a per- 
sonal loss, and to pour their tears upon his grave as for one 
who was their own ; those works, which are to exist so long 
as any vestiges of our civilization remain, side by side with 
the imperishable writings of the chief historians of all ages, 
— these are not lost, because they are of the fruits, for the 
production of which our immortal nature was placed in this 
mortal sphere. 

Mr. President, if I had felt that it was the sole purpose of 
these proceedings to express the grief of personal affection, 
I should not have ventured to address you ; for, although I 
have for many years been honored by the personal regard of 
the late Mr. Prescott, what belongs to the duties of friendship 
has come, and will doubtless again come, from others. But 
to me, sir, an humble amateur in that noble art in which our 
lamented friend was so distinguished, this occasion has — I 
would not say a higher ; for what can be higher or holier than 
the last rites of love ? — to me this occasion has a further 
interest. It seems to me to call, not for vindication, not for 
defence, not for challenge ; but for the briefest and most 
simple statement of the value and dignity of the labors of 
our deceased friend, as they are expressed in the first of the 
resolutions on your table. 

The pursuit to which Mr. Prescott devoted his life is uni- 
versally felt, among the cultivated part of mankind, to be one 
of the highest forms of intellectual labor ; yet it is probable 
that even educated men do not always fully appreciate the 
qualities, the powers, and the tasks of a truly great historian. 
The general public can, of course, only take the finished work 


of art as it comes, all compact in its exceeding beauty and 
fitness, from the hands of the great master, and admire and 
learn, and be grateful. Of that research, which must leave 
no fact, however minute, untried; of that judicial temper, 
which must yield to no prejudice ; of that large and catholic 
sympathy with human progress, without which there can be 
no permanent success ; of that courage which declares the 
truth, though it be unwelcome ; of that power to weigh 
events, to detect causes, to make the wide deductions on 
which the judgment of the future is to rest for its opinions of 
the past ; and of that final process which fixes for ever, in a 
work of high art, the teachings of Providence, as displayed 
in the moral world, — of all these great requirements and 
these varied accomplishments we see little, or think little, as 
we pass, delighted and improved, over the printed page. 

Such a master of his art was he whom we mourn. The 
subjects which he chose for the exercise of his noble powers 
were in those departments of history, in which the lives of 
princes, the intrigues of courts, the characters and actions of 
individuals, and the movements of armies, necessarily occupy 
a very prominent place. This is no time, nor is this the occa- 
sion, nor is he who now speaks of him the person, to show 
how successfully his works refute that theory, which we 
sometimes hear uttered as a complaint, that in history, as it 
has hitherto been written, man is neglected, and governments 
are made all in all. I am sure, that, when the ultimate judg- 
ment of his contemporaries or of posterity shall be pro- 
nounced, the works of Prescott will not lose their place in 
the estimation of the world through the operation of any 
sound canon of criticism that may now exist, or that may be 
called into existence hereafter. I found this expectation 
upon two positions, — first, that it is in the order of Provi- 
dence, that the characters, the acts, and lives of individuals 
shall have a vast influence on the welfare, the condition, and 
the progress of society ; and, secondly, that this great writer 


has perceived, with as clear a vision and as just a discrimina- 
tion as have been given to the foremost masters in this diffi- 
cult art, how to unite the exhibition of that influence with 
the display of those general causes and those uniform laws 
which control even the despotism of princes, and subject the 
arbitrary will of man to the overruling purposes of God. 

But let me turn, sir, from these anticipations of the future, 
to dwell for a moment upon that present fame which he 
enjoyed in such a bountiful harvest. It is now nearly nine 
years, since, on a visit abroad, I met Mr. Prescott in London, 
and witnessed that remarkable ovation which he there 
received. I suppose that such a reception has not been 
accorded in modern England to any other merely literary and 
private man of any country. I attributed it at the time, in 
part, to the fact that he was an American, and that he had 
written in the language which is their and our common 
inheritance. Partly also, no doubt, it was due to the charm 
of his manners and conversation, and to the frank and genial 
facility with which he could adapt himself to all companies. 
The peculiar sympathy and admiration, too, which were 
excited by the extraordinary difficulties under which his 
works had been produced, quickened the interest that was 
taken in the author. 

But I could not fail to be struck with the character and 
extent of his reputation, for which none of these things 
would account. I was there before him ; and, when his pur- 
pose to make this visit was known, it is no exaggeration to 
say, that, in all ranks and all forms of society in which intel- 
ligent men and women were found, there was evident a 
sensation of anticipated pleasure, a delighted expectation of 
curiosity and interest, which no countryman of his could wit- 
ness without pride. What followed after his arrival, you all 
know. Public and private honors, the homage of the head 
and the homage of the heart, were showered upon him by all 
ranks. What followed on his return to that home and that 



society which he loved above all human associations, you 
know equally well. 

Neither the flatteries of the great, the fascinations of that 
brilliant society in which he was an honored guest, nor any 
single circumstance of his personal success, changed the sim- 
plicity of his character, or imparted to it one tinge of arro- 
gance. My opportunities to observe the complexion of his 
feelings were ample ; for I returned in the same ship with 
him, and had with him many hours of the freest intercourse 
during every day of the voyage : and I declare here this 
night, as a testimony due to the manliness, the sweetness, and 
the nobleness of his nature, that I have never seen the man 
on whom great fame and extraordinary social success had a 
less disturbing effect than they had on him. That he had 
a solid and just satisfaction in all that was manifested towards 
him, I could perceive ; but, if we would estimate him rightly, 
we must remember that few men could have passed through 
those scenes without bringing away more traces of that which 
intoxicates, than of that which strengthens and enlarges, the 
soul. He brought nothing which our most jealous love could 
have wished him to escape. On the day when we landed, 
and he returned into the bosom of his family, into the quiet 
seclusion of his library, and his accustomed walk of life, he 
was the same man as when he went forth to meet the 
delighted homage of Europe. Place, oh ! place this token of 
him before the eyes of all our countrymen. 

He is gone ! If it had pleased Almighty God to have per- 
mitted us one word of farewell, we should doubtless have 
heard him call to us, as we can now only hail his departed 
spirit, — 

" Say not, ( Good-night! ' 
But, in another clime, bid me ' Good-morning! ' " 

The resolutions which had been offered by Mr. 
Ticknor were then unanimously adopted ; the members 
rising when the question was taken. 


The President then said : — 

Gentlemen, — We are deprived this evening of the pre- 
sence of more than one of those whom we are always delighted 
to have with us. My friend Mr. Everett is absent from home, 
and will not return for ten or twelve days. I know he will 
deeply regret having lost the opportunity of uniting in this 
commemoration of one of his most cherished friends. 

I have the following notes before me, — the first being 
from our worthy and respected Vice-President, the Hon. 
David Sears : — 

Beacon Street, Feb. 1, 1859. 

My dear Mr. Winthrop, — I regret that a severe cold 
confines me to my room, and will prevent my assisting at the 
meeting of the Historical Society called for this evening to 
pay a last tribute of respect to our excellent friend and asso- 
ciate, William H. Prescott. 

I was not able to attend his funeral yesterday, and I am 
not able to attend our meeting to-day. I feel the deprivation 
sensibly ; and, in spite of my judgment, it is accompanied by 
a sort of consciousness, that I am not doing for him what I 
am sure he would readily have done for me. 

My acquaintance with Mr. Prescott dates back nearly half 
a century ; for, even in his boyhood, he was often the bearer 
of important papers between his father and myself. 

His literary fame is spread through the civilized world ; 
but his endearing social qualities are known only to those 
who enjoyed his intimacy. The world will lament the histo- 
rian and the scholar: his associates alone can estimate the 
companion and the man. But both will readily class him in 
the highest rank as scholar, gentleman, and friend. 

Very faithfully yours, 

David Sears. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 

President Mass. Historical Society. 


Boston, Feb. 1, 1859. 
Dear Sir, — I regret extremely that the state of my health 
will not allow me to attend the special meeting to-night, to be 
held in " respect to the memory of our late distinguished asso- 
ciate/' Mr. Prescott. 

I should regret still more to be thought insensible to his 
great fame and merit, or to doubt his title to any tribute 
which the Society, this city, and the world of letters, may 
unite to bestow upon him. 

Please to consider me as personally with you, and warmly 
approving of all you shall do or say in memory of him. 
I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

Rufus Choate. 
Rev. Chandlek Robbins, D.D., 

Recording Secretary of the Historical Society. 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, Feb. 10, at noon, at their rooms in Tremont 
Street, Boston; the President, Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, in the chair. 

The Librarian being absent, the Recording Secretary 
announced donations from the American Baptist Mis- 
sionary Union; the American Unitarian Association; 
the Boston Provident Association; the County Com- 
missioners of Barnstable County ; the Back-Bay Com- 
missioners ; C. C. Henshaw, Esq. ; T. J. Herring, Esq. ; 
Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; J. H. Hammond ; L. A. H. 
Latour ; Mrs. J. F. Baldwin ; T. C. Amory, Esq. ; Dr. 
E. B. O'Callaghan ; T. B. Lawrence, Esq. ; George H. 
Kuhn, Esq. ; N. P. Kemp, Esq. ; Samuel A. Green, 


M.D. ; F. A. Benson, Esq. ; Rev. J. P. Robinson ; Wil- 
liam Durrant Cooper, Esq. ; and from Messrs. Bartlett, 
Lams on, Robbins, Shurtleff, Sibley, Whitney, and Win- 
throp, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of accept- 
ance from Hon. Levi Lincoln, as a Resident Member. 

Hon. George T. Bigelow and Hon. Caleb Cushing 
were elected Resident Members; Hon. J. J. Critten- 
den, of Kentucky, an Honorary, and Benjamin 
R. Winthrop, Esq., of New York, a Corresponding 

Mr. Quincy presented a copy of the " Memoir of 
Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, prepared by himself at 
the request of his children," on a blank leaf of which 
Mr. Quincy had inscribed a few reminiscences of the 
author, and a cordial tribute to his character, in the fol- 
lowing terms ; viz., — 

With Colonel Tallmadge it was my privilege, fifty years 
ago, to be on terms of great intimacy. In 1808 and 1809, 
being both members of Congress, we resided in the same 
hotel, in adjoining rooms, and often passed together long 
winter evenings. I availed myself of these opportunities to 
draw from him anecdotes of the war of the Revolution, and 
heard him relate almost all those incidents mentioned in this 
memoir, with many additional circumstances, which, from his 
great modesty, are here omitted. The frontispiece to this 
memoir, I doubt not, was an excellent likeness at the period 
when it was drawn. At the age of fifty-two, his tall and com- 
manding figure and noble bearing, united with polished and 
courteous manners, and a kindness of heart which won uni- 
versal confidence, rendered him one of the most interesting 
men I ever knew. 


He was one of the most active partisans of the army, and 
received peculiar marks of confidence from its Commander- 
in-chief, whose personal superintendence of the details of 
secret expeditions is one of the impressive results of this 

Josiah Quincy. 
10th February, 1859. 

Mr. Adams, from the Committee appointed to resist 
before the Legislature any infringement of the corpo- 
rate name of the Society, made a verbal report, which 
was accepted. Whereupon, the following vote was 
unanimously passed ; viz., — 

Voted, That this Society approve and ratify the doings of 
their Committee) as reported by Mr. Adams ; and, commend- 
ing the spirit in which they have met the Committee of the 
Historic-Genealogical Society, request them to continue in 
office, with full power to make any arrangement which may 
settle the point in controversy, and tend to a desirable har- 
mony between the two Societies. 

Mr. Everett, expressing regret at his inability to join 
the Society in the last tribute of respect to the memory 
of Mr. Prescott, paid by them on the 1st instant, asked 
permission to add a few words, that, as a friend of more 
than forty years' standing, he might not seem wanting 
on an occasion of such affecting interest. 

Mr. President, — - At the special meeting of the Society, 
held on the 1st instant, to take becoming notice of the death 
of our honored and lamented associate, Mr. Prescott, you 
kindly apologized, with your usual thoughtfulness, for my 
necessary absence. I was in the State of New Jersey that 


day, under a public engagement ; and it was only by the aid 
of the telegraph that I received the notice of the meeting. 
You will readily believe that I regretted most deeply my in- 
ability to join you in the last tribute of respect to the memory 
of our friend, paid with so much feeling and pathetic elo- 
quence, on behalf of the Massachusetts Historical Society,. by 
our worthy associates who took part in that day's proceedings. 
If I now ask permission to add a few words to what was so 
appropriately and touchingly said by them, it is not that the 
departed needs my poor testimony; not that the Society 
needs my aid in doing honor to his beloved name ; but that I 
myself, the friend of more than forty years' standing, may not 
seem wanting on an occasion of such affecting interest. 

Being about to leave home on Monday, the 24th of January, 
on a visit to Philadelphia, and taking my accustomed walk in 
the middle of the day on the Saturday preceding, I met our 
late lamented and beloved associate. He seemed to me as 
well as at any time the past twelvemonth ; but my son, who 
was with me, thought his countenance somewhat changed. 
On the following Friday, the telegraph transmitted the news 
of his death to Philadelphia ; where, I think I can truly say, 
it was mourned as deeply and sincerely as anywhere in 
Boston, out of the circle of immediate relatives and friends. 
They felt his death as a loss, not of any one place, but of the 
whole country. And this feeling I found universally preva- 
lent in a somewhat extensive circuit since made in New 
Jersey; in New York, where a most distinguished brother 
historian (Mr. Bancroft) gave utterance, in language the most 
appropriate and impressive, to the unaffected sorrow of the 
community ; and in the neighboring city of Brooklyn, which 
I have since visited. Everywhere, Mr. President, those tri- 
butes of respect and affection which have been paid to our 
dear friend by his neighbors, associates, and immediate fellow- 
citizens, have found a ready response throughout the country, 
as they will throughout the civilized world. 


I can add nothing to what has been already said in the 
general contemplation of his eminence as an author, his 
worth as a man, his geniality as a companion, his fidelity as 
a friend ; his severe trials, his heroic exertions, his glorious 
success. But I have thought it might be in my power to 
say a few words, not unacceptably, of the rapidity and the 
extent to which his reputation was established. abroad, and 
the prompt and generous recognition of his ability in Europe. 
The " History of Ferdinand and Isabella " was published 
at the close of 1837 or the beginning of 1838 ; and, on my 
arrival in Europe in the summer of 1840, I found it exten- 
sively known and duly appreciated. Mr. Prescott, following 
down the stream of Spanish history, had already conceived 
the project of writing, at some future period, the history of 
Philip II., after he should have narrated, in works to be 
prepared in the interval, the magnificent episodes of the 
" Conquest of Mexico and Peru." I remonstrated with 
him for passing over the reign of the Emperor Charles Y. ; 
urging upon him, that the materials which had become 
accessible since Robertson's time, especially the archives of 
Simancas (the want of access to which was so much deplored 
by that author), would enable him to treat that period to as 
good advantage as that of Ferdinand and Isabella, or Philip. 
But he modestly persisted in thinking that the reign of 
Charles V. was exhausted by Robertson. The supplemen- 
tary chapter with which he has enriched the edition of 
Robertson's work, published under his supervision a few 
years since, is a sufficient proof that it would have been in 
his power to construct an original history of the reign of 
Charles Y., which would have fully equalled in interest any 
that has been produced by him. 

He requested me to make some preliminary inquiries at 
Paris in reference to materials for Philip II. ; especially to 
obtain information as to the portion of the archives of Siman- 
cas which had been carried in the time of Napoleon to Paris, 

1859.] mr. Everett's remarks on mr. prescott. 201 

and were still detained there. No difficulty attended a tho- 
rough exploration of the rich materials in the royal library ; 
but the papers from Simancas were guarded with greater 
care in the " Archives of the Kingdom." The whole of that 
celebrated national collection had been transported to Paris 
in the time of Napoleon ; and after his downfall, and in the 
general restoration, those portions of the archives which 
purported to relate to the history of France were, in spite 
of the urgent and oft-repeated reclamations of the Spanish 
Government, retained in Paris. It was natural, under 
these circumstances, that they should be watched with 
some jealousy : but the name of Mr. Prescott was a key 
which unlocked the depository ; and by the kindness of 
M. Mignet, who had himself examined them with diligence, 
they were fully thrown open to my inspection on his 

The same result followed a similar application at Florence 
the following year. Not only were the private collections 
of the Marquis Gino Capponi and the Count Guicciardini (the 
lineal descendant of the historian) thrown open to the use of 
Mr. Prescott, but, after tedious hesitations and delays on the 
part of subordinate officials, a peremptory order was at length 
issued by Prince Corsini, with the consent of the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany, that I should be allowed to explore the Medicean 
Archives (Archivio Mediceo), and mark for transcription what- 
ever I thought would be useful for Mr. Prescott. When I 
add that this magnificent collection of eighty thousand vol- 
umes (since greatly augmented, as I learn from my friend 
Mr. Ticknor, by bringing together all the provincial archives 
of every part of the Grand Duchy), the examination of which 
was rendered easy by a copious index, contained the corre- 
spondence of the Tuscan minister at Madrid, during the entire 
reign of Philip II., it will be readily conceived how rich were 
the materials for the history of that period. Nothing that I 
marked for transcription was refused. It was sufficient that 



I thought it would be useful to Mr. Prescott ; and among the 
portions of the correspondence which I was able in this way 
to procure for him were the semi-weekly communications of 
the Tuscan minister on the arrest, imprisonment, and death 
of Don Carlos. That papers so delicate — guarded with such 
jealousy for three centuries — should have been fully thrown 
open by a Catholic sovereign to an American Protestant 
writer, bears witness at once to the liberality of the Grand 
Duke, and the European reputation of our lamented friend. 

Nor was his fame less promptly and substantially esta- 
blished in England. Calling one day on the venerable Mr. 
Thomas Grenville, whom I found in his library (the second 
in size and value of the private libraries of England), reading 
Xenophon's "Anabasis " in the original, I made some passing 
remark on the beauty of that work. " Here," said he, hold- 
ing up a volume of " Ferdinand and Isabella," " is one far 
superior." With the exception of the Nestor of our literature 
(Mr. Irving), no American writer appeared to me so widely 
known or so highly esteemed in England as Mr. Prescott ; 
and, when he visited that country a few years later, the 
honors paid to him by all the cultivated classes of society, 
from the throne downward, were such as are seldom offered 
to the most distinguished visitant. 

This is not the time nor the place for a critical disquisition 
on the merits of our lamented associate as a writer of history ; 
nor am I prepared — arrived but last evening from an ardu- 
ous journey, filled up with engagements which have left me 
no moment of leisure — > to undertake the task. It would, 
moreover, be a work of supererogation. The public mind 
has passed judgment on his merits, in a manner to need no 
confirmation and to fear no contradiction. When, in after- 
times, the history of our American literature shall be written, 
it will be told with admiration, how, in the front rank of a 
school of contemporary historical writers flourishing in the 
United States in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, 


more numerous and not less distinguished than those of any 
other country, a young man, who was not only born to 
affluence and exposed to all its seductions, but who seemed 
forced into inaction by the cruel accident of his youth, 
devoted himself to that branch of literary effort which seems 
most to require the eyesight of the student, and composed 
a series of historical works not less remarkable for their 
minute and accurate learning, than their beauty of style, 
calm philosophy, acute delineation of character, and sound 
good sense. No name more brilliant than his will descend 
to posterity on the roll of American authors. 

But it will not be in this Association alone that he will be 
honored in after-times. So long as in ages far distant, and 
not only in countries now refined and polished, but in those 
not yet brought into the domain of civilization, the remark- 
able epoch which he has described shall attract the attention 
of men ; so long as the consolidation of the Spanish monarchy 
and the expulsion of the Moors, the mighty theme of the 
discovery of America, the sorrowful glories of Columbus, 
the mail-clad forms of Cortez and Pizarro and the other grim 
conquistador es j trampling new-found empires under the hoofs 
of their cavalry, shall be subjects of literary interest ; so long- 
as the blood shall curdle at the cruelties of Alva, and the 
fierce struggles of the Moslem in the East, — so long will 
the writings of our friend be read. With respect to some 
of them, time, in all human probability, will add nothing to 
his materials. It was said the other day by our respected 
associate, President Sparks (a competent authority), that no 
historian, ancient or modern, exceeded Mr. Prescott in the 
depth and accuracy of his researches. He has driven his 
artesian criticism through wretched modern compilations, 
and the trashy exaggerations of intervening commentators, 
down to the original contemporary witnesses ; and the 
sparkling waters of truth have gushed up from the living- 
rock. In the details of his narrative, farther light may be 


obtained from sources not yet accessible. The first letter 
of Cortez may be brought to light ; the hieroglyphics of 
Palenque may be deciphered : but the history of the 
Spanish Empire, during the period for which he has treated 
it, will be read by posterity for general information, not in 
the ancient Spanish authors, not in black-letter chronicles, 
but in the volumes of Prescott. 

Finally, sir, among the masters of historical writing — the 
few great names of ancient and modern renown in this 
department — our lamented friend and associate has passed 
to a place among the most honored and distinguished. 
Whenever this branch of polite literature shall be treated 
of by some future Bacon, and the names of those shall be 
repeated who have possessed in the highest degree that 
rare skill by which the traces of a great plan in the fortunes 
of mankind are explored, and the living body of a nation is 
dissected by the keen edge of truth, and guilty kings and 
guilty races summoned to the bar of justice, and the footsteps 
of God pointed out along the pathways of time, his name will 
be mentioned with the immortal trios of Greece and of Rome, 
and the few who in the modern languages stand out the rivals 
of their fame. 

No one can speak of our dear departed friend without 
recollecting the infirmity under which he labored the greater 
part of his days, and with which Providence, in his case, 
applied the solemn law of compensation, by which the bless- 
ings of life are enjoyed, and endowments balanced by sorrows. 
To some it is given to ascend the heights of fame through 
the narrow and cheerless path of penury. Others toil pa- 
tiently on beneath a load of domestic care and bereavement, — 
the loss of the dutiful, the hopeful, and the beloved. For him 
that dares to intrude on public life (as our friend never did), 
ferocious detraction stands ready to fly at his throat, and 
petty malice to yelp at his heels. Our friend achieved the 
miracle of his unexampled success under the privation — at 


times the total privation — of the dearest of the senses, — 
that through which the spirit of man is wedded to the lovely 
forms of the visible universe. At intervals, for some years 
before he commenced his- historical labors, for him, as for 
the kindred genius by whose example he tells us he took 
courage, — 

" Seasons returned; but not for him returned 
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, 
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, 
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine." 

But he went from his darkened chamber and his couch of 
pain to his noble work, as a strong man rejoicing to run a 
race. A kind Providence at intervals raised the veil from 
his eyes, and his sweet resignation and heroic fortitude 
turned his trials into a blessing. His impaired sight gave 
him concentrated mental vision : and so he lived his great 
day, illustrious without an enemy, successful without an 
envier ; wrought out his four historical epics to the admira- 
tion of the age ; and passed away at the grand climacteric, 
not of years alone, but of love and fame. 

; ' Tdv Move' etyiXrjoe, dl6ov 6' uyadov re kclkqv re* 
0(j)da?,fj.cJv a/zepcre, didov 6' rjdelav uol5tjv." 


A special meeting of the Society was held this even- 
ing (Thursday, the 24th of February), at the residence 
of Hon. Edward Everett. 

In opening the meeting at half-past seven o'clock, the 
President remarked, that the evening had been selected 


without reference to any particular date, but rather to 
conform to the convenience of the distinguished host of 
the occasion (Mr. Everett), who had found a leisure 
moment, amid his engrossing avocations, to invite the 
Society to visit him in his noble library. It had, indeed, 
been contemplated, at one time, to hold the meeting on 
the evening of Washington's Birthday ; but the officers 
of the Society were unwilling to deprive themselves or 
others of the opportunity of attending the interesting 
celebration of that anniversary by the Mercantile- 
Library Association. We were still near enough to 
that anniversary, however, to render any remarks or 
communications in relation to it entirely appropriate 
and acceptable. 

Before calling upon others, Mr. Winthrop said it 
might be expected of him to allude, in a few words, to 
one or two events of recent occurrence within the circle 
of our Resident or Honorary Membership. He regret- 
ted to remind the Society that another vacancy had been 
created on the resident list by the death of Mr. Edward 
A. Crowninshield, one of their most recently elected 
associates. His valuable collection of books and papers 
connected with American history has long been known 
to us ; and it was confidently hoped, on his late return 
from Europe, that his health was sufficiently re-esta- 
blished to allow him to co-operate with us, for some 
years to come, in promoting the objects of our Society. 
But an insidious disease had suddenly terminated his 
career ; and we had only the melancholy duty of adding 
his name to the list of those who had been too early lost 
to our Association and the community. 


In turning to a different department of our roll to 
affix the significant asterisk to the name of one of our 
most distinguished foreign Honorary Members, we 
could have no such regrets for a life cut short, or for 
any failure in the fulfilment of the largest hopes and 
expectations. Mr. Henry Hallam, the tidings of whose 
death, on the 2 2d of January last, had reached us a few 
days since, had passed the full term of fourscore years, 
and had left abundant and illustrious memorials of a 
life-long devotion to historical labors. 

The President said he would gladly offer the most 
cordial tribute of respect to the memory of this admi- 
rable historian, whose personal kindness he had the 
privilege of partaking many years since in London, and 
to whom we were all indebted for the noblest and 
justest exposition of the gradual development of those 
great institutions and principles which lie at the basis of 
American as well as of English liberty and law. But 
such a tribute would be more worthily paid by others. 

He would only add, that the coincidence of two such 
deaths as those of Hallam and Prescott, within a single 
week of the same month of the same year, on different 
sides of the Atlantic, could not fail to mark an era 
in the annals of historical literature ; and that Old 
England and New England — the mother and the 
daughter — might not unnaturally be found interchan- 
ging sympathies on the almost simultaneous loss of 
those who have been so honored as historians, and so 
esteemed and beloved as men. 

Mr. Everett, asking the indulgence of the Society 
for a few moments, that he might pay an unstudied 


tribute to the memory of one whom he might venture 
to call his friend, spoke as follows : — 

I am very glad, sir, that you have called the attention of 
the Society to the loss they have met, in the death of their 
honored associate, Mr. Hallam. I am aware that it is not 
the practice of the scientific and literary bodies in England 
to take a contemporary notice of the decease of their foreign 
members. It is the custom^ however, at the close of the 
year, for the president of those societies to deliver an ad- 
dress, of which an obituary notice of the members, both 
resident and foreign, who have deceased in the course of the 
year, forms an important part. I should be pleased to see 
that custom introduced here ; certainly while the chair of our 
Society is filled as it now is : and in the mean time, as there 
is otherwise no opportunity of doing it, I fully concur with 
you in the propriety of taking a respectful notice of the de- 
cease of our distinguished honorary associate just mentioned. 
I feel that it must be the spontaneous will of every member 
of the Society to pause for a moment upon an event of so 
much interest in itself, and rendered peculiarly affecting by 
its coincidence with our own recent domestic loss. That two 
such lights of the literary firmament, shining in the same 
department of polite letters, — the one in Europe, the other 
in America, — should be extinguished within a few days of 
each other, is surely an occurrence not to be passed over 
without a respectful notice in a Society of which they were 
both members, — co-members with ourselves. Having, while 
I lived in England, been honored with the intimate acquaint- 
ance, I may venture to say the friendship, of Mr. Hallam, and 
with his correspondence since my return, I am sure that you 
will indulge me for a few moments in an unstudied tribute to 
his memory. 

It would be wholly superfluous, before the members of this 
Society, to dwell at length on the literary reputation of Mr. 


Hallam. After the last of the three great historians of the 
eighteenth century in England had passed away, historical 
studies in that country seemed to be in abeyance. They could 
hardly be said to have commenced in this country. Many 
valuable works in the department of ancient and modern 
history — a few of them on this side of the Atlantic — were 
produced: but nothing to be named by the side of Hume, 
Gibbon, and Robertson. At length, after mature preparatory 
studies, and being then forty years of age, Mr. Hallam, in 
1818, published his first, and, in the opinion of some persons, 
his ablest work, — "A View of the State of Europe in the 
Middle Ages." This work — without, perhaps, an equal 
attractiveness of style with either of the three great writers 
just named — is, in some important respects, of higher 
merit than either. The erudition is sounder and more 
critical than that of Gibbon, though with a smaller display 
of learned authorities, many of which, in the lapse of near a 
century, have become obsolete. It is a still greater merit, 
that Mr. Hallam's work — that all his works — are wholly 
free from the taint of irreverence that poisons Gibbon's 
magnificent and truly monumental history. Mr. Hallam's 
history far transcends Hume in extent, and accuracy of 
research ; in a knowledge of the jurisprudence, not only 
of England, but of the Continent ; and in conscientious 
dealings with his authorities, — in which Hume, partly from 
indolence, is far from being exemplary. In all the qualities 
of a first-rate historian, Mr. Hallam is superior to Robertson, 
with the single exception of a certain winning ease and 
lucid flow of style, by which you are so delightfully borne 
along, in the pages of the illustrious Scotchman. Mr. Hal- 
lam's " History of the Middle Ages " immediately assumed, 
and has ever maintained, the character of a classical work. 

After an interval of nine years, the " Constitutional History 
of England, from the Beginning of the Reign of Henry the 
Seventh to the Close of the Reign of George the Second," 



was published by Mr. Hallam. This, too, is a work of 
standard excellence. Discussing questions which at that 
time, more than now, divided opinion in England, Mr. 
Hallam's views did not, in all points, command universal 
assent. By the Tory journals and the Tory politicians, it 
was characterized as the work of " a decided partisan." 
Such has not been the verdict of the generation which has 
filled the stage since it appeared ; such, in all probability, 
will not be the verdict of after-time ; such, I am sure, will 
not be the light in which it will be viewed in this country. 
Here it will be regarded — as you have justly intimated, 
sir — as expounding the true principles of constitutional 
law for all representative governments. Mr. Hallam' s work 
afforded what was greatly wanted, — a correction of the politi- 
cal system of Hume. It is owing, I am confident, in no small 
degree, to the gradually spreading influence of Mr. Hallam's 
" Constitutional History," that the theoretical Toryism of 
former times has almost wholly disappeared in England. 
His work, I am inclined to think, is generally accepted as 
an accurate exposition of the true principles of the British 
Government. It has been often said, — and never, to my 
knowledge, contradicted, — that it was from this work, under 
the guidance of the late Lord Melbourne, that the present 
Sovereign of England received her education in the constitu- 
tion of the empire, of which she was one day, with rare union 
of manly vigor and female gentleness, to wield the sceptre. 

The " Introduction to the Literature of Europe for the Fif- 
teenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries," was published 
twelve or thirteen years later, and when the author was about 
sixty years of age. This, with the exception of a supple- 
mentary volume of notes to his " History of the Middle Ages," 
was his last work. It was prepared under a cloud of sorrow. 
It is a work of stupendous erudition ; but, from its encyclo- 
pedic character, is of unequal execution. There is, however, 
no quackery in it. It is not, like some similar works, a mere 


compilation from former writers ; but it is the fruit of original 
reference, and that, too, frequently in unfamiliar quarters. 
When, in following the course of classified inquiry, he has to 
speak of an author whom. he has not read, he tells you so ; 
and, when he expresses an opinion as his own, you know it 
is his own, — the fruit of his own inquiry and speculation. 
A striking instance of the wide range of his reading occurs 
to me at the moment. He was the first to point out the 
remarkable similarity between the celebrated passage on 
the Universality of Law, at the close of the first book in 
Hooker's " Ecclesiastical Polity," with a passage in the now 
nearly forgotten work of the Jesuit Suarez, " De Legibus 
et Deo Legislators " Impartiality, good sense, pure taste, 
freedom from all extravagance, and a clear and significant 
though not brilliant style, are everywhere manifested in 
the " Introduction," as indeed in all the works of Mr. Hallam. 
In his personal history there is little to record. He was 
educated to the law, but never, I believe, went into court. 
He regarded his legal studies, however, as very important, 
— as qualifying him to write the " Constitutional History of 
England." He speaks with emphasis of Hume's deficiency 
in this respect ; though treating his great predecessor with 
commendable impartiality, considering the decided antago- 
nism of their political views. In his family relations, he was 
at once the happiest and unhappiest of men : the happiest, 
in being the father of two sons, of the rarest endowments 
and brightest promise ; unhappiest, in being bereft of them 
x>n their entrance into life. Arthur died at the age of twenty- 
two, and Henry at the age of twenty-six ; leaving their poor 
father broken-hearted, but for the hope of a re-union in a 
better world. Henry it was my good fortune to become 
acquainted with, in 1843, at the rooms of our countryman Mr. 
Bristed, in Trinity College, Cambridge ; and an interesting 
memoir of this most hopeful and amiable young man, from 
the pen of Mr. Bristed, has been reprinted in England. One 


trait of noble feeling and sentiment has been related to me 
of him. When Sir Robert Peel tendered to Mr. Hallam the 
laudable title of Baronet, he said he would be governed by 
his son's wishes. Henry, on being consulted, said, that, as 
far as his feelings were concerned, he was content to be 
known as the son of Henry Hallam, — a name to which no 
title could give added dignity. 

Mr. Hallam, like all the popular authors of England, was 
more extensively read, in proportion to the population, in 
this country, than at home. In 1848, he received the title 
of Doctor of Laws from Harvard College ; and not till the 
same year, from his own Oxford. About the same time, he 
was elected an Honorary Member of our Association. You 
will permit me, perhaps, to read — the Society, I think, will 
be gratified to hear it — the official letter written by Mr. 
Hallam in acknowledgment of his degree : - — 

Clifton, Oct. 26, 1848. 

My dear Mr. Everett, — It has given me the greatest satis- 
faction to receive the Diploma of the Senate of Harvard College, 
conferring on me the high honor of Doctor of Laws, — an honor 
even enhanced by the eulogy which, through the medium of a very 
classical Latinity, that distinguished body has been pleased to bestow 
upon my several publications. 

I have already, in the present year, received a similar distinction 
from my own University, — that of Oxford. It will be my pride, for 
the remainder of my days, to reflect, that not only at home, where I 
might better expect it, but in a land which it has not been permitted 
me to visit, my labors in the field of literature, deficient as I feel them 
to be, and perhaps unequal to what I once hoped to have been their 
extent, have obtained a reward of public approbation so ample and so 
honorable as has been allotted to them. The admiration of literary 
merit — and I must not now be understood as referring to myself — 
has become, of late years, very characteristic of America : it displays 
itself with a noble, and, we may say, juvenile enthusiasm, which we 
are far from equalling in Europe. Nothing is more likely to main- 
tain that national affection, between those who spring from common 


ancestors and speak common language, which every wise and good 
man, on each side of the ocean, desires to see. 

I request you to return my sincere thanks to the Fellows of Harvard 
College. To yourself, I need not say that I am peculiarly indebted, 
not only for the share you have had in conferring this honor upon 
me, but for many testimonials of your friendship during the too short 
period of your residence in Great Britain. 

Believe me, my dear Mr. Everett, very faithfully yours, 

(Signed) Henry Hallam. 

Mr. Everett then offered the following resolutions ; 
which, having been seconded by Mr. Ticknor, — who 
favored the meeting with interesting reminiscences of 
his acquaintance with the distinguished historian, — 
were unanimously adopted : — 

Resolved, That the members of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society have, with deep sensibility, received 
the intelligence of the death of their honored associate, 
Henry Hallam, in a mature and venerable age ; that 
they highly appreciate his distinguished merit as an 
historian ; that they reverence his impartiality, inflexi- 
ble adherence to historical integrity, and his unswerving 
devotion to the cause of truth, justice, and civil liberty. 

Resolved, That the President of the Society be re- 
quested to transmit an attested copy of this resolution 
to the family of Mr. Hallam, with the assurance of our 
respectful sympathy with them in their bereavement. 

After the adoption of the resolutions, the President 
said, that, among the distinguished guests whom Mr. 
Everett had invited to honor us with their presence, 
there was more than one upon whom he would gladly 
call, if it were within the usages of the occasion, or the 


privileges of the Chair. He was happy, however, to 
recognize a gentleman whose name had long been on 
our rolls, and who was at this moment the President 
of the Historical Society of a sister State, — a State 
which dated back to an even earlier settlement than 
that at Plymouth Rock. The Society would hardly 
excuse him for delaying longer to present to them 
our honorary associate, — the Hon. "William C. Rives, 
of Virginia. 

Mr. Rives, in responding to the allusion made to him 
by the President, expressed his cordial acknowledgment 
for the very kind manner in which he had been wel- 
comed into the bosom of the Society, and said, — 

I beg leave to assure you, Mr. President, and the gentle- 
men of the Society, that I esteem it a very high privilege 
to be present at a social as well as business meeting of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, — a Society which, whether 
we consider the variety and value of its collections, the 
distinguished character of its members, including many who 
have contributed to moke, as well as write, the history of their 
country, or the admirable order and system in all its opera- 
tions and arrangements, is the model institution of its kind 
in America. 

You have been pleased, Mr, President, to allude to Virginia 
as the elder member of our great national family. In a 
country where, happily, we have no laws of primogeniture, 
the circumstance of seniority is of but little worth. It is not 
he who was first born to his inheritance, but he who has 
made the greatest advances in its improvement and develop- 
ment, that deserves the greatest honor ; and, in this respect, 
you have given us many examples we shall be proud to 
follow. What specially gratifies me is, that you recognize 
the family tie. 


The time was when we were all Virginians, — you, North 
Virginia ; we, South Virginia. Although we have no longer 
our original common name, we have common sentiments and 
recollections, as well as common interests, still to unite 
and bind us closely together. Having had the good fortune, 
for several successive years, to be in Boston on the Birthday 
of Washington, I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of say- 
ing, that nowhere have I ever seen honors rendered to the 
memory of the great son of Virginia with a more heartfelt 
and enthusiastic homage than here by the citizens of Mas- 
sachusetts, or heard his unrivalled character and virtues 
celebrated in nobler strains of eulogy than by the eloquent 
sons of Massachusetts. 

Mr. Sparks communicated the following letter from 
Governor Hutchinson to Lord Dartmouth : — 

Governor Hutchinson to Lord Dartmouth. 

Boston, Nov. 15, 1773. 
... At present, the spirits of the people in the town of 
Boston are in a great ferment. Every thing that has been in 
my power, without the Council, I have done, and continued to 
do, for the preservation of the peace and good order of the 
town. If I had the aid which I think the Council might give, 
my endeavors would be more effectual. They profess to disap- 
prove of the tumultuous, violent proceedings of the people : 
but they wish to see the professed end of the people, in such 
proceedings, attained in a regular way; and, instead of joining 
with me in proper measures to discourage an opposition to 
the landing and sale of the teas expected, one and another 
of the gentlemen of the greatest influence intimate, that the 
best thing that can be done to quiet the people would be 
the refusal of the gentlemen, to whom the teas are consigned, 
to execute the trust ; and they declare they would do it, if 


it was their case, and would advise all their connections to 
do it. 

Nor will they ever countenance a measure which shall 
tend to carry into execution an Act of Parliament which lays 
taxes upon the Colonies for the purpose of a revenue. The 
same principle prevails with by far the greater part of the 
merchants, who, though, in general, they declare against mobs 
and violence, yet they as generally wish the teas may not be 

Mr. Sparks also read the following extracts from a 
diary kept in Boston during the period of the Boston 
Port Bill and of the destruction of the tea : — 

Extracts from an Original Diary by Thomas Newell. Boston, 

1773, 1774. 

Diary of 1773. 

Nov. 2. — A number of printed handbills were posted up 
at the corner of most of the streets in town, desiring all the 
Sons of Freedom to meet at the Tree of Liberty on Wednes- 
day, Nov. 5. 

Nov. 5. — Town-meeting concerning what to do with the 
consignees of tea. At said meeting, a Committee was chosen 
to wait on the consignees. Their answer was such, that the 
town voted that it was daringly affrontive to the town. 

Nov. 17. — This evening, a number of persons assembled 
before Richard Clark's, Esq., one of the consignees of tea. 
They broke the windows, and did other damage. 

Nov. 18. — Town-meeting. A Committee was appointed to 
acquaint the tea-commissioners it was the desire of the town 
that they would now give a final answer to their request ; 
viz., whether they Would resign their appointment. Upon 
which they sent into the town the following letter ; viz., — 



" Sir, — In answer to the message we have this day received from 
the town, we beg leave to say, that we have not yet received any 
orders from the East-India Company respecting the expected teas : 
but we are now further acquainted, that our friends in England have 
entered into penal engagements in our behalf, merely of a commercial 
nature ; which puts it out of our power to comply with the request 
of the town. 

" We are, sir, your most humble servants, 

"Richard Clark and Sons. 
Benj. Faneuil, Jun., for self and 
Joshua Winslow, Esq. 
Elisha Hutchinson, for my bro- 
ther and self. 

" Hon. John Hancock, Esq., Moderator of Town-meeting 
assembled at Faneuil Hall." 

The answer was voted not satisfactory, and the meeting 
was immediately dissolved. 

Nov. 28. — Captain Hall, from London in eight weeks, 
brought 114 chests of the so much detested East-India Com- 
pany's tea. 

Nov. 29. — This morning, the following notification was 
posted up in all parts of the town ; viz., — 

"Friends, Brethren, Countrymen, — That worst of plagues, 
the detested tea shipped for this port by the East-India Company, is 
now arrived in this harbor. The hour of destruction, or manly 
opposition to the machinations of tyranny, stares you in the face. 
Every friend to his country, to himself, and posterity, is now called 
upon to meet at Faneuil Hall, at nine o'clock this day (at which time 
the bells will ring), to make a united and successful resistance to this 
last, worst, and destructive measure of administration." 

The people accordingly met at Faneuil Hall, and voted 
that the tea, now arrived in Captain Hall, shall be returned 
to the place from whence it came, at all events. The hall 
could not contain all the people, and they immediately 
adjourned to the Old South Meeting-house. 



It was voted that a watch be appointed, to consist of 
twenty-five men. Captain Proctor was chosen to be captain 
of the watch for this night. Then the meeting was adjourned 
to the next morning at nine o'clock. 

Nov. 30. — This morning, the people met according to 
adjournment. The Governor sent a proclamation, command- 
ing all people there assembled forthwith to disperse,, and to 
cease all farther unlawful proceedings, at their utmost peril. 
After it was read by the Sheriff, there was immediately a loud 
and very general hiss. A motion was then made, and the 
question put, whether the assembly would disperse, according 
to the Governor's requirement. It passed in the negative. 
At night, the meeting was dissolved. 

Dec. 2. — Captain Bruce, eight weeks from London, with 
116 chests of that detestable tea. 

Dec. 14. — The following handbill was posted up ; viz., — 

"Friends, Brethren, Countrymen, — The perfidious art of your 
restless enemies to render ineffectual the late resolutions of the body of 
the people demand your assembling at the Old South Meeting-house 
precisely at two o'clock, at which time the bells will ring." 

The Sons of Freedom accordingly met at the Old South, 
and adjourned till Thursday, the 16th inst. 

Dec. 16. — The Sons of Freedom mustered according to 
adjournment. The people ordered Mr. Rotch, owner of 
Captain Hall's ship, to make a demand for a clearance, of Mr. 
Harrison, the Collector of the Customs (and there was refused 
a clearance for his ship). The body desired Mr. Rotch to 
protest against the Custom House, and apply to the Governor 
for his pass for the Castle. He applied accordingly, and the 
Governor refused to give him one. The people, finding all 
their efforts useless to preserve the East-India Company's tea, 
at night dissolved the meeting. But behold what followed ! 
The same evening, a number of brave men (some say Indians), 


in less than three hours, emptied every chest of tea, on board 
the ships commanded by Captains Hall, Bruce, and Coffin, 
into the sea (amounting to 342 chests). 


Jan. 1. — Last evening, a number of persons went over 
to Dorchester, and brought from thence part of a chest of 
tea that a man there had taken up at the time the Indians 
destroyed the tea, — on the 16th of December, 1773, — and 
burnt it on our Common the same evening. 

Jan. 20. — There were three barrels of Bohea tea burnt in 
King Street ; weight about 7 cwt. 

March 6. — Captain Benjamin Gorham, nine weeks from 
London, brought 28J chests of Bohea tea consigned to 
several persons here. 

March 7. — This evening, a number of Indians — as is said, 
of his Majesty of Oknookortunkogg tribe — emptied every 
chest into the dock, and destroyed the whole 281 chests. 

May 10. — Captain Shayler, five weeks from London, brought 
news of this harbor being shut up by Act of Parliament of 
Great Britain. 

May 13. — Captain Barns, five weeks from London ; and 
Lyde, from Bristol. H. M. ship " Lively," from London, with 
General Gage on board. 

Town-meeting to consider what measures are proper to be 
taken under our public affairs ; more especially relative to 
the late edict blocking up the harbor of Boston, and annihi- 
lating the same. A Committee was chosen to go to several 
towns. Mr. P. Revere was chosen to go express to New York 
and Philadelphia. 

May 17. — Governor Thomas Hutchinson, that bad gov- 
ernor, — superseded by Thomas Gage, Esq., who arrived last 
Friday, — dined with Gage at Faneuil Hall, with a large 


June 1. — Governor Hutchinson, his son and daughter, 
sailed for London in Captain Callahan. Port of Boston, by 
the cruel edict of the British Parliament, is shut up. Three 
transports, with troops on board, arrived in Nantasket Road, 
last night, from London. 

June 14. — The Fourth, or King's Own Regiment, landed 
at Long Wharf, and marched to the Common, where they 

June 15. — The Forty-third Regiment landed at Long 
Wharf, and marched to the Common, and there encamped. 
Most of the stores on Long Wharf are now shut up. Thus 
are we surrounded with fleet and army. The harbor is shut 
up, all navigation has ceased, and not one topsail vessel to be 
seen but those of our enemies. Oh, let not posterity forget 
our sufferings ! 

July 1. — Admiral Graves arrived with his fleet from 
London. More transports arrived from Ireland with the 
Fifth and Thirty-eighth Regiments. 

July 2. — Artillery from Castle William landed with eight 
brass cannon, and encamped on the Common. 

258 sheep given for the relief of this town by the town 
of Windham in Connecticut. 

July 4. — The Thirty-eighth Regiment landed at Hancock's 
Wharf, and encamped on the Common. 

July 5. — The Fifth Regiment landed at Long Wharf, and 
encamped on the Common. 

July 8. — About this time arrived three wagon-loads of 
grain, from the towns of Groton, Pepperell, and Wrentham, 
for the poor of this town ; and this day 105 sheep, from our 
worthy friends in Pomfret, for the like purpose. 

Aug. 2. — This morning, arrived in town 11 loads of table 
fish, from our worthy friends of Marblehead, — 224 quintals, — 
for the poor of this town ; and a quintal of oil ; and £40, 
lawful money, in cash. 

Aug. 6. — The ' ( Scarborough " man-of-war arrived, nine 


weeks from England. Three transports (p.m.) from Halifax, 
— with the Fifty-ninth Regiment on board, and a company 
of artillery with brass cannon, — eight days out. The Fifty- 
ninth Regiment landed at Salem, and there encamped. 

Aug. 7. — Three transports from New York with the 
Eoyal Regiment of Welsh Fusileers, and a detachment 
of Royal Artillery, and a quantity of ordnance stores. 

Aug. 8. — Company of artillery landed, and encamped on 
the Common. 

Aug. 9. — This morning, the Regiment of Welsh Fusileers 
(or Twenty-third) landed at Long Wharf, and encamped on 
Fort Hill. 

. Aug. 13. - — Arrived in town 376 sheep, from our sym- 
pathizing brethren of Lebanon in Connecticut, for the benefit 
of the poor of this distressed town. 

Aug. 27. — Several presents from our brethren in the 
country. £290 cash from Norwich and cash from many 
others this week. 

Aug. 30. — This day, the Superior Court was holden here. 
When the court was seated, the grand jurors, one and all, 
refused to be sworn. The petit were then called for : they 
likewise refused to be sworn in. Some said their reason 
was, that Peter Oliver, Esq., Chief-Justice of that court, stood 
impeached by the late Honorable House of Representatives 
of this Province, in their own name and in the name of the 
Province, of divers high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Sept. 1. — This morning, half-after four, about 260 troops 
embarked on board 13 boats at the Long Wharf, and pro- 
ceeded up Mystic River to Temple's Farm; where they landed, 
and went to the powder-house on Quarry Hill, in Charles- 
town bounds ; from whence they have taken 250 half-barrels 
of gunpowder (the whole store there), and carried it to the 
Castle. A detachment of this corps went to Cambridge, and 
brought off two field-pieces. 


Sept. 2. — From these several hostile appearances, the 
county of Middlesex took the alarm, and, last evening, 
began to collect in large bodies, with their arms, provisions, 
and ammunition, &c. This morning, some thousand of them 
advanced to Cambridge, armed only with sticks. The 
Committee of Cambridge sent express to Charlestown, 
who communicated the intelligence to Boston ; and their 
respective Committees proceeded to Cambridge without 
delay. Thomas Oliver, S. Danforth, T. Lee, made declara- 
tion and resignation of a seat in the new-constituted Council, 
which satisfied the body. At sunset, they began to return 

Sept. 3. — This afternoon, four large field-pieces were 
dragged from the Common by the soldiery, and placed at 
the only entrance into this town by land. The " Lively " 
frigate, of twenty guns, came to her mooring, in the ferry-way 
between Boston and Charlestown. 

Sept 15. — Last night, all the cannon in the North Battery 
were spiked up. It is said to be done by about 100 men, 
who came in boats from the man-of-war in this harbor. 

Sept. 17. — Last night, towns-people took four brass can- 
non from the gun-house near the Common. 

Sept. 19. — Most of our town-carpenters, with a number 
from the country, are now employed in building barracks for 
the army. Hundreds of the soldiers are now employed in 
repairing and mantling the fortification at the entrance of 
the town. The Fifty-ninth Regiment, with a number of the 
other soldiery, are now throwing up an intrenchment on 
the Neck. 

Sept. 26. ■ — All the carpenters of the town and country 
(this morning), that were employed in building barracks for 
the soldiery, left off work at the barracks. 

Sept. 28. — This day, a thousand bushels of grain arrived 
at Salem, from Quebec, for the use of the poor in this town. 


This day, Joseph Scott, Esq., has given his countrymen great 
uneasiness by selling the troops two large cannon, and a 
great quantity of cannon-balls and other implements of war. 

Oct. 10. — A number of fat cattle arrived in town from 
our brethren of Lebanon, in the Colony of Connecticut. 

Oct. 12. — The " Rose " man-of-war arrived here from 
Newfoundland with three companies of the Sixty-fifth Regi- 

Oct. 14. — The three companies of the Sixty-fifth Regi- 
ment landed this morning, and are now in barracks in King 

Oct. 18. — Captain Brown arrived at Salem with a gene- 
rous donation from our brethren of the county of Monmouth 
in New Jersey, consisting of 1,200 bushels rye and 50 barrels 
of rye flour. 

Oct. 19. — Captain Boyd is arrived at Salem from Hartford 
in Connecticut, and has brought about 900 bushels grain for 
the poor of this town. 

Oct. 22. — This morning, at seven o'clock, after three days' 
illness, Mr. William Molineaux died, in the fifty-eighth year 
of his age; a true son of liberty and of America. It may with 
truth be said of this friend, that he died a martyr to the 
interest of America. His watchfulness, labors, and distresses, 
to promote the general interest, produced an inflammation 
of the bowels, of which he perished. " Oh, save my country, 
Heaven ! " he said, and died. 

A drove of sheep arrived in town from our brethren of 
Scituate, in the Colony of Rhode Island. 

Oct. 23. — This day, four transports arrived here from 
New York with a company of Royal Artillery, a large 
quantity of ordnance and stores for Castle William, three 
companies of the Royal Regiment of Ireland, or the Eigh- 
teenth Regiment, and the Forty-seventh Regiment, on board. 

Oct. 29. — Arrived here several transports, with troops on 
board, from Quebec ; the Tenth and Fifty-second Regiments. 


Nov. 2. — This evening, 400 or 500 pounds of Bohea and 
green tea was burnt in Charlestown. 

Nov. 18. — Lately arrived in town, as a free gift, 150 sheep 
from the town of Smithfield, and 57 from Johnstone, and 122 
from Scituate in Rhode Island, and 250 from Stonington in 

Nov. 19. — The following donations have arrived in the 
course of this week: From Candy Parish, in the Province 
of New Hampshire, <£3 lawful money and 84 sheep; from 
Concord, on Pennecook River, New Hampshire, 30 bushels 
of pease ; from Rehoboth, <£14 money ; from Rehoboth and 
East Greenwich, 112 sheep; from Tiverton, 72 sheep; from 
Glastonbury, 160 bushels grain; from Southington, 150 bushels 
ditto ; from Weathersfield, 73 bushels ditto ; from Middleton, 
1,080 bushels ditto ; and from Mr. Samuel Moody, schoolmaster 
at Newbury Falls, five guineas. 

Dec. 3. — Donations received the last week : From the 
county of Litchfield in Connecticut, £1 9. 3s. money and 51 
head of cattle ; from Colchester, 94 sheep and five cattle ; 
from Fairfield, 750 bushels grain ; and from Mr. Sylvanus 
Hare of Petersham, 11 quarters of mutton, 123 pounds 

Dec. 17. — This day, the " Boyne " man-of-war, of 64 guns, 
and the "Asia," of 60 guns, lately arrived below, came up 
into the harbor, and are at anchor within musket-shot of the 

Dec. 19. — This morning, the " Somerset " man-of-war, 
of 64 guns, arrived in this harbor. 

Mr. Ellis exhibited the original commission of Sir 
William Peperell to be Major-General. 

Mr. .Everett exhibited the Washington Cane, which 
was presented to him at Richmond, — one of the two 


canes mentioned in Washington's will, and which had 
never been out of the possession of members of his 
family till two years ago. 

A curious manuscript of Franklin, — a sort of com- 
monplace-book, — and also a photograph of Washing- 
ton, from the original miniature from life, — in posses- 
sion of Miss A. Robertson, — executed by Archibald 
Robertson, in Philadelphia, in December, 1791, and 
January, 1792, — were also exhibited by Mr. Everett. 

Mr. Quincy said that the communication of Mr. 
Sparks recalled to his memory an anecdote relating 
to the period to which the diary referred. A public 
meeting was called in Boston to consider what was to 
be done in view of the scarcity of provisions, amounting 
even to famine. Some patriots proposed a public table, 
and nominated Josiah Quincy to bring the proposition 
before the people. He did so. The proposition was 
not well received. Few supported it. Some expressed 
their disapprobation by hisses and rude noises. Mr. 
Adams rose, apparently irritated, and said, " Mr. Mode- 
rator, when I perceive the unhandsome manner in which 
the patriotic proposition of my friend has been met, I 
am forcibly reminded of the lines of Milton on his 
detractors, — 

' I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs 
By the known rules of ancient liberty; 
When straight a barbarous noise environs me 
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs.' " 




The Society held its stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, March 10, at noon, at their rooms in Tre- 
mont Street, Boston ; the President, Hon. Robert C. 
Winthrop, in the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording 
Secretary announced donations from the American 
Baptist Missionary Union; the American Unitarian 
Association; the Boston City Missionary Society; the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts ; the County Com- 
missioners of Barnstable County; C. C. Henshaw, 
Esq. ; Thomas J. Herring, Esq. ; Henry B. Dawson, 
Esq. ; Hon. J. H. Hammond ; L. A. H. Latour, Esq. ; 
Mrs. I. F. Baldwin; Rev. J. P. Robinson; Dr. E. B. 
O'Callaghan; Rev. W. S. Perry; Colonel T. B. Law- 
rence ; N. P. Kemp, Esq. ; George H. Kuhn, Esq. ; 
Samuel A. Green, M.D. ; F. A. Benson, Esq. ; and from 
Messrs. Bartlet, Bell, Lamson, Robbins, Shurtleff, Sibley, 
Webb, Whitney, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, the 
President read letters of acceptance from Hon. Caleb 
Cushing and Hon. George T. Bigelow, as Resident 
Members ; and from B. R. Winthrop, Esq., as Corre- 
sponding Member. 

The President presented, on behalf of the publishers, 
a copy of Coltons " Cabinet Atlas." 

A special recognition of their valuable donation was 
voted to the publishers. 


The President read several acknowledgments, from 
societies and individuals, of their reception of the Pro- 
ceedings of the Society in respect to the memory of 
William H. Prescott. The letter from Professor B. 
Silliman was ordered to be entered upon the Records. 
It is as follows ; viz., — 

New Haven, March 8, 1859. 
To the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 

President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

Dear Sir, — I have received a very interesting document, 
" The Proceedings of the Society on the Occasion of the Death 
of Mr. Prescott/' the distinguished historian. As the pam- 
phlet is inscribed to me " by the Society/ 7 — of which I have 
had the honor to be a Corresponding Member since 1808 
(fifty years ago), elected under the Presidency of my revered 
friend Judge Davis, — and as I do not observe any other 
official name in the present instance than your own, I take 
the liberty to make my acknowledgments to you, and, through 
you, to the Society. 

I have never perused any commemorative memorial with 
deeper interest and greater satisfaction. 

The affectionate tribute rendered to the memory of the 
illustrious historian by so many eminent men — his friends 
and contemporaries — does equal honor to him and to them. 
Rarely in any city, certainly not in our country, can such 
a galaxy be found. 

My own interest in these solemnities is increased by a 
personal knowledge of nearly all the speakers ; and, still 
more, by grateful recollections of the historian himself in 
his paternal mansion, and in that sacred apartment where we 
may presume that his emancipated spirit hovered over his 
lifeless form, in full sympathy with mourning survivors, and 
with the noble historians whose learned volumes were grouped 
around as a guard of honor. 


On any proper occasion, I beg leave, through you, dear sir, 
to present to the Society the expression of my respectful 
sympathy, and my thanks for their recollection of, dear sir, 
yours very respectfully and truly, 


Professor Henry W. Torrey was elected a Resident 
Member, Hon. Edward Coles of Philadelphia an 
Honorary, and J. Carson Brevoort, Esq., of New 
York, a Corresponding Member of the Society. 

The President nominated Messrs. Solomon Lincoln, 
Blagden, and Livermore, a Committee to nominate a 
list of officers at the annual meeting. He also nomi- 
nated, as a Committee on the Treasurer's accounts, 
Messrs. Bowditch, William Appleton, and Sturgis. 

The President was requested to return the respectful 
acknowledgments of the Society to the New-York His- 
torical Society for the donation of one hundred copies 
of their "Proceedings on the Announcement of the 
Death of William H. Prescott." 

The thanks of the Society were voted to Charles L. 
Hancock, Esq., for the valuable and interesting volumes 
presented by him to the library from the estate of his 
patriotic ancestor, John Hancock. 

Dr. Webb communicated an anonymous letter dated 
London, March 4, 1775; which led to an interesting 
discussion and various suggestions regarding its author- 

On presenting it, Dr. Webb remarked, that it was 
probably transmitted in the manner alluded to in the 
opening paragraph ; and, as Mr. Quincy did not live 
to reach home, — having died on board ship, whilst 


upon his return voyage, in the harbor of Gloucester, 
April 25, 1775, — it was very likely that the letter was 
subsequently found among his effects. Being devoid of 
address as well as signature, he thought that possibly 
some memorandum referring to its origin or destination 
was made by Mr. Quincy, and could be found in his 
diary, or note-book. He therefore suggested that the 
letter be intrusted to the son of the deceased, — the 
present venerable Josiah Quincy, sen., — in the hope 
that he might be enabled to identify the chirography, 
or, in some way, ascertain its authorship. 

My dear Friend, — Our friend Mr. Quincy gives me an 
opportunity of writing to you, with a confidence of its 
reaching you. I have purposely omitted putting my name 
to my [letter]. Letters which ministerial people can reach 
are opened ; and, if my name were seen, it would be a reason 
for suppressing it, independent of its contents. Besides, I 
am satisfied they are endeavoring to collect evidence against 
all those whom they regard as active friends to America. 

I wrote to you upon my travels from Leghorn, and in- 
formed you of the plan which has since been put in execution. 
The stopping the fishery was a part of that plan. What 
is yet to come, I can with confidence assure you, is as 
follows : — 

A Major Skeen, and a Parson Vardell, a native of New York, 
are to be sent over thither with propositions of advantages for 
the college, the city, and the Province, and with a list of pro- 
fitable places for individuals, sufficient, as they conceive, — 
with the favorable disposition which they are persuaded pre- 
vails there, — to draw off that city from the common cause, and 
attach them to government. They are determined to spare 
no promises and temporary douceurs to effect their purpose. 
Four regiments of the troops now destined for America are 


to be sent thither ; the plan of making that the rendezvous 
for the whole army being so far altered. New England they 
are determined to subdue by arms, and subjugate to an 
arbitrary government, agreeably to the Massachusetts-Charter 
Act. The Province of Maine is to be erected into a separate 
government. A bishop is to be appointed at New York. 
This is the plan for the North. The Southern Colonies they 
reserve for future correction ; trusting that the intervention 
of New York will so cut off the communication, that no 
assistance will be attempted, and they will have leisure, 
after the conquest of the North, to reduce the South to 
the same subjection. 

Such is their present plan and prospect. Should they not 
succeed with New York, the whole will be deranged and 
defeated. Your utmost attention should be therefore applied 
to preserve that Province firm. If the people can be roused, 
so as to reject the Delancee party at the ensuing election, it 
will confound and frustrate all their schemes. To defeat the 
operation of the non-importation, they mean to encourage 
individuals, both here and with you, to ship and order 
goods ; which, whether they are deceived or not, will serve 
to keep the manufacturers quiet here. But this is a tem- 
porary expedient; and you may be most assured that the 
faithful observation of the resolutions of the Congress for 
one year will produce most intolerable distress and dangerous 
insurrections, both here and in Ireland. 

The last place is greatly attached to America ; and, if it be 
prudent to relax the non-importation with them, it will make 
them hazard a great deal for us. If no relaxation can be 
made, a popular address to them will turn the tide of their 
resentment, upon the hardships they must feel, against its 
proper objects, — our oppressors. The consequence of this 
will be, at least, the obliging them to keep the whole esta- 
blishment of troops in Ireland, and perhaps to send for 
those from America to join them. This is an object, I think, 


highly worthy your attention. ... I congratulate you on 
the junction of Jamaica. That island is of vast weight here. 
The deciding manner in which they have taken up the 
dispute gives, therefore, great alarm. 

It is much agitated here, whether you ought to attack 
General Gage before he is re-enforced. My opinion is, that 
you ought not to take any steps of such decision and impor- 
tant consequences, without a moral certainty of success, and 
the approbation of the General Congress. When he is 
re-enforced, it will not avail them, unless he march into 
the country ; and, in that case, it will be more easy to cope 
with him treble-numbered, than now in his intrenchments, 
under the cannon of the ships. As far, therefore, as one can 
judge at this distance, the attempt, in his present innocent 
situation, will not be prudent. I have only to add, that it 
is impossible any thing can increase the rancor and enmity 
that prevails against you here among the king's friends and 
his ministers. You are, therefore, to consider your present 
struggles as of so desperate a temper, that you are neither 
to expect nor give quarter. Whatever blow is struck, should, 
from its magnitude and violence, be worthy of the dignity 
and desperation of your cause. Temporary endurance must 
insure permanent prosperity. Prudence and resolution can- 
not fail of full success. 

London, March 4, 1775. 

The following letter from Robert Walsh, Esq., to 
Mr. Everett, was read by the President : — 

Paris, 12th November, 1858. 
My dear Sir, — It is so long since we have held any inter- 
course, that I may have fallen out of your memory ; but you 
will allow me to re-instate myself, asking your attention to a 
few lines. All your public experiences have engaged my 
attention. What you have allowed to go into print has 


uniformly afforded me the highest satisfaction. Some im- 
patience may be felt here that you have confined your oration 
on Washington to manuscript. We readily . credit all the 
praise which it has won, and are thus more sensible of 
the privation. You might, methinks, transmit hither a copy 
to my address ; having from me solemn assurance that it 
should not be printed, nor circulated in any form, nor read 
by any one out of my study. Every precaution should be 
taken against mischance, or any other final disposition than 
that which yourself might direct. When a pupil, at about 
twelve years of age, at the College of Georgetown, I de- 
livered an address in verse to Washington, in person, in the 
old edifice. 

I enjoyed opportunities of observing him closely after- 
wards, in company with the President of the College ; and, 
on his death, I recited, in the pulpit of the Georgetown 
Catholic Church, the eulogy which was written by the 
Professor of Rhetoric. My remembrance of his person, 
demeanor, talk, opinions, is perfectly fresh. I had then 
studied the annals of the Revolutionary War, and of his 
administration of the General Government. 

My particular purpose in venturing to address you now is 
to conciliate your interest with reference to two personages 
of this capital, whose names are familiar to you, and who may 
have possessed the advantage of your direct acquaintance. 
They are the venerable M. Jomard and Baron Charles Dupin. 
The former enjoyed, for thirty years, a spacious apartment in the 
edifice of the Imperial Library. He presided over the division 
of charts, maps, engravings, ancient documents, paleography in 
general. He is Honorary President of the Geographical 
Society, after having filled the chair during many years. 
He is one of the two surviving members of the Institute 
of Cairo of Napoleon I. He is a member of two branches 
of the Institute of France, — the Academy of Sciences, and 
that of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres. The Imperial Li- 


brary, as you probably know, has been re-organized. He has 
been appointed Vice-President of the new Board of Directors, 
with the Minister of Public Instruction. Though nearly 
eighty years of age, he is vigorous in body, and indefatigable 
in his scientific pursuits. 

Baron Dupin was a distinguished member of the Chamber 
of Deputies, and other of the Peers, under the monarchy of 
Louis Philippe. At one time, he was called to the Ministry 
of Marine. He holds seats in the Academy of Sciences, and 
that of the Moral and Political Sciences. No member of 
either body is more useful. He was at the head of the 
French Commission for the London Universal Exhibition. 
He is eminent in mathematics, and without a rival in sta- 
tistics. Not long since, he prepared and published, at the 
instance of the Imperial Government, two octavos, entitled 
" The Productive Force of Nations from 1800 to 1851," as an 
Introduction to the Reports of the French Commission. The 
progress and resources of the United States have their full 
share of his pages and of his favor. 

The two savans — Jomard and Dupin — are the French- 
men whom I have found, throughout twenty-two years of con- 
stant intercourse, the most friendly and serviceable to our 
institutions and national character, and to individuals. They 
have uniformly exerted themselves when American science, 
literature, or invention, was to be introduced and recom- 
mended to the learned bodies and to the French public. 
As far as I know, neither has received any token of honor 
and acknowledgment from an American university or society. 
Each has all claims to the degree of Doctor of Laws, or to 
some manifestation of American esteem. 

Your influence must be wide and potent; your spirit is 
congenial. It may be in your power, and a pleasure for you, 
to accomplish what I have ventured to suggest. M. Jomard 
entertains a special reverence for Washington. He has col- 
lected portraits and relics, and reads eagerly every new 



publication relating to the hero. Last year, an advertise- 
ment of the wood of a tree which had hung over the grave at 
Mount Yernon was inserted in the " National Intelligencer." 
I addressed myself to Lieutenant Maury, in order to procure 
what would make a cane for M. Jomard. I offered to pay the 
expense of a head of California gold. But no answer was 
given. Such a present would be deemed inestimable by the 
aged servant, whose heart may be said to lie in the New 
World. He and Baron Dupin are entirely strangers to what 
I write. 

I trust that Professor Felton will send us copies of his 
paper on the ancient Greek tablet which he found in Dr. 
Abbott's Egyptian museum. His communication to the 
"Athens Journal 7 ' of the 5th July was placed by me in 
the hands of the accomplished Hellenists, De Presle and 
D'Hivrey, who greatly admire his modern Greek and his 
patriotic zeal. 

Pardon this scrawl ; and be pleased to accept the liveliest 
respect and constant devotion of your old correspondent, 

Eobert Walsh. 
Hon. Edward Everett. 

Mr. Deane deposited in the library of the Society a 
volume of Winslow Papers from 1638 to 1759, be- 
longing to Mr. Isaac P. Winslow, and subject to his 

ANNUAL MEETING, April 14, 1859. 

The Society held their annual meeting this day 
(Thursday), the 14th of April, in their rooms in 
Tremont Street, at twelve o'clock, noon ; the President, 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, in the chair. 


The Librarian announced donations from the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society ; the New- York-State Agri- 
cultural Society ; the Royal Society of Antiquaries ; 
Department of State of the United States; the Ohio 
State Library; the Young Men's Mercantile-Library 
Association of Cincinnati ; the Boston Athenaeum ; the 
City of Boston ; the proprietors of the " Congregational 
Quarterly ; " John Wilson, Esq. ; Rev. A. P. Peabody ; 
Samuel A. Green, Esq., M.D. ; Thomas S. Kirkbridge, 
Esq., M.D. ; Francis Lousada, Her Britannic Majesty's 
Consul ; General John S. Tyler ; Hon. John P. Ken- 
nedy ; S. C. Newman, Esq. ; A. Erving, Esq. ; E. 
Robinson, Esq. ; Hon. Joel Parker ; and from Messrs. 
Bigelow, Blagden, Bo wen, Lamson, Lothrop, Quincy, 
Robbins, Savage, Shurtleff, Sumner, Warren, Webb, 
and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of accept- 
ance from Hon. Edward Coles, of Pennsylvania ; also 
a letter from Rev. William Barry, Librarian of the 
Chicago Historical Society, acknowledging the recep- 
tion of this Society's tribute to Prescott. 

The President read a communication from General 
Sumner, placing at the disposal of the Standing Com- 
mittee ten copies of his " History of East Boston," 
for transmission to such learned societies and foreign 
correspondents of the Society as the Committee might 

The President communicated the following letter 
from Hon. Richard Rush, an Honorary Member of the 
Society : — 


Hon. Robert C. Winthrop. 

My dear Sir, — A troublesome cold I have been laboring 
under has delayed this acknowledgment of the highly ac- 
ceptable pamphlet containing the Proceedings of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, convened to do honor to the 
memory of Mr. Prescott. The pamphlet is but the more 
welcome from my recognizing your handwriting on the 
fly-leaf. I now beg leave to return my grateful thanks for 
it. I have read the whole with feelings in full unison with 
the homage it so well embodies to the exalted name of the 
illustrious deceased. It is so seldom — so very seldom — 
that we have beheld, in the long stream of time, the renown 
of a great intellectual name going hand in hand with personal 
virtues and accomplishments of the highest order, that we 
may feel a just pride in our country having given to the 
world a shining example of this rare double excellence in our 

In October, 1847, I met, at the house of a distinguished 
personage in Paris, the venerable Baron Humboldt ; to whom 
the Prussian minister, Count d'Arnim, presented me. He 
spoke of Mr. Prescott in the highest terms ; saying, among 
his tributes, that his fame was higher, perhaps, in Germany 
than in England, — justly as he was appreciated in England. 
His words, besides falling gratefully on my ear as the com- 
patriot of Mr. Prescott, reached the little group near me, 
while the venerable philosopher and savant was speaking. 

Soon afterwards, it was my good fortune to receive a 
letter from Mr. Prescott, stating that he had, for some years, 
been collecting manuscripts from the different capitals of 
Europe to illustrate the " History of Philip the Second, 
of Spain ; " that he had ascertained that the papers of Cardi- 
nal Granville, comprising an important mass of documents 
bearing upon his investigations, were at Besangon ; and that, 
under this information, he had sent an agent there to examine 


the archives. His agent learned that the papers had been 
removed to Paris, and were in course of publication by the 
French Government, but would not be on sale. Mr. Prescott's 
letter further stated, that, under these circumstances, a friend 
of his in Paris, Count de Circourt (in whom I, too, claimed a 
friend), had encouraged him to believe that an application 
from me to the French Government on the subject might 
be favorably received. I at once addressed a note to the 
Minister of Public Instruction (then M. de Salvandy), de- 
signed to promote Mr. Prescott's object as far as practicable. 
Almost on the next day came the minister's answer, accom- 
panied by six quarto volumes, comprising the whole collection 
of Cardinal Granville's papers. I caused the volumes to be 
transmitted to Mr. Prescott, appreciating this prompt homage 
to letters on the part of Louis Philippe's government ; and I 
add, that I performed no act in the public station I held in 
Paris which gave me more sincere pleasure. 

With renewed thanks to the Massachusetts Historical 
Society for the valued pamphlet, and to yourself, I pray 
you, my dear sir, to accept the assurances of my very 
friendly consideration and esteem. 

Richard Kush. 
Philadelphia, March 12, 1859. 

Mr. Livermore presented the Annual Report of the 
Standing Committee for the year ending this day; which 
was accepted, and ordered to be placed on file, subject 
to the disposal of the Committee on printing the Pro- 

Report of the Standing Committee. 

In presenting their Annual Report, the Standing Committee 
perform a duty required by the By-laws of the Society. Their 
Reports at each stated monthly meeting have necessarily been 


brief, and by no means supersede the necessity of a summary 
review of their transactions at the close of the official year. 

The duties of the Standing Committee, as carefully stated 
in Chapter X. of the By-laws, are neither few nor unimpor- 
tant. They are : — 

Art. 1. — The Standing Committee, as vacancies may occur in the 
Society by death or otherwise, shall, at their discretion, report nomina- 
tions for Resident Members to fill the same. 

Art. 2. — They shall pay the current expenses of the Society ; 
drawing on the Treasurer, from time to time, for such sums as may 
be necessary for that purpose. 

Art. 3. — They shall annually, in the month of April, make a 
careful examination of the Library and Museum of the Society, and 
also of the Dowse Library; comparing the books, manuscripts, and 
other articles in each, with their catalogues respectively, and reporting 
at the April meeting, in detail, concerning their condition. 

Art. 4. — They shall record in full, in a book kept by them for 
the purpose, any permission granted by any one of their number 
for the consultation of the manuscripts of the Society by persons 
not members. 

Art. 5. — They shall meet in the Society's rooms one hour previous 
to every regular meeting, for the fulfilment of their appropriate duties, 
and for the purpose of facilitating the transaction of such business as 
will be brought before the Society. 

Art. 6. — They shall, at every meeting, report to the Society all 
their doings since the last meeting, suggesting at the same time such 
business as they may deem advisable to bring before it. 

In addition to the regular and general duties prescribed 
above, the Standing Committee are frequently charged with 
the consideration and execution of important measures intro- 
duced at the stated meetings of the Society, but not finally 
disposed of there. 

On this Committee, therefore, devolve, to a great extent, 
the labor and the responsibility of conducting the affairs 
of the Society. It is a good provision of the By-laws which 
requires two, at least, of their number to retire from office 


each year ; thus enabling the Society to avail itself annually 
of the services of members fresh from their own ranks. 

The subjects considered in this Report will be presented 
in the order in which they stand in the By-laws. 


By the original Act of Incorporation , passed in 1794, the 
number of Resident Members could not exceed sixty. While 
that Act remained in force, nominations were only made to fill 
vacancies occasioned by the death or the resignation of 
members. It was in no exclusive spirit, or desire to limit 
the honors or the privileges of the Society, that its founders 
thus restricted the number of members. They selected the hive 
as the device for their seal ; and " Sic vos, non vobis," was 
their motto. All were to be workers, each in his own way. 
Whilst the labor of gathering and storing the riches of 
history devolved upon them, the fruits of their industry 
were to be as freely enjoyed by others as by themselves. 
Every person who was nominated, and accepted membership, 
was expected to take a direct personal interest in the welfare 
of the Society; and to contribute, as far as he might be 
able, and in his own way, of his time, or his talents, or his 
pecuniary means, for the furtherance of the objects for 
which this Association was established. 

As the community became more populous, and as the 
interest in historical investigations increased, it was decided 
by the Society — without departing from the original prin- 
ciple which guided its founders — to ask permission of the 
Legislature to make a corresponding addition of members. 

In April, 1857, an Act was passed enabling the Society 
to have " as many as one hundred Resident Members, at 
their discretion." It was, however, understood and agreed, 
when this amendment of the charter was asked for, that 
the whole number of new members should not be imme- 
diately filled ; and accordingly a provision was inserted in the 


By-laws, that not more than two Resident Members should be 
nominated for election at the same meeting. 

The nomination of members is a matter that has required 
the most careful deliberation and the best judgment of the 
Committee. The Recording Secretary, according to the By- 
laws (chap. i., art. 2), keeps a book, in which " any Resident 
Member may enter the name of any person whom he may 
regard as suitable for membership." But the duty of 
selecting from this list of names, and of reporting nomina- 
tions to the Society, rests entirely with the Standing Com- 
mittee. They have allowed no political, religious, or personal 
bias to influence them in their choice. Every nomination 
that has been submitted to the Society has been by the 
unanimous agreement of the Committee ; and they have been 
gratified by the fact, that all their nominations have been con- 
firmed by the Society. Eighteen Resident Members have 
been elected the past year, — making the present number 
of Resident Members eighty-three ; and the whole number of 
Honorary, Corresponding, and Resident Members, at this 
time, one hundred and ninety-one. Three of our Resident 
Members — Lemuel Shattuck, William H. Prescott, and Ed- 
ward A. Crowninshield — have been taken away by death, 
and their decease has been properly noticed by the Society. 
Among the Honorary Members, the loss of Henry Hallam 
of London, and of Robert Walsh of Paris, received special 


The Standing Committee are required by the By-laws to 
" pay the current expenses of the Society; drawing on the 
Treasurer, from time to time, for such sums as may be neces- 
sary for that purpose." 

With the enlarged numbers and increased activity of the 
Society, the expenses have been considerably increased ; 
and the Committee have been obliged to restrict their ope- 


rations, that they might not exceed the income at their 

A carefully prepared statement of the financial condition 
of the Society, giving in detail an account of the items 
which compose its permanent funds, and its other resources, 
has been made out by the Treasurer, and will be submitted 
in print at this meeting. It will show that the permanent 
funds of the Society are safely invested, and that the income 
from them has been regularly applied to the uses for which 
the funds were given. 

The present income of the Appleton Fund will enable 
the Publishing Committee to print a new volume of Col- 
lections without delay. 

The Historical Trust Fund — given by the Hon. David 
Sears — has been used, under the sanction of its liberal 
donor, towards the payment for the Society's building. If 
a vote were passed, directing the payment of the interest 
on this fund towards diminishing the amount due on account 
of the purchase of this building, something would be done 
towards the accomplishment of a most desirable object, — the 
reduction of the Society's standing debt. 

The Dowse Fund provides a sufficient income for warming 
the library-room, for insurance on the books, and for a portion 
of the salary of the Librarian. 

The donation by the venerated senior member of the 
Society, Hon. Josiah Quincy, of the copyright of his " Life 
of John Quincy Adams," has already yielded to the Society 
the sum of two hundred and twenty-five dollars, as the 
first-fruits of that generous gift. The Committee recom- 
mend that this amount be appropriated towards the printing 
of the Catalogue, — one of the objects specified by Mr. 

The unrestricted income applicable to the general expenses 
of the Society is received from the annual assessments and 
admission-fees of members, and from the sale of the Society's 



publications. All these are insufficient for this purpose ; and 
the general account shows a balance due to the Treasurer of 
three hundred and twelve dollars and thirty-seven cents. 

It should be gratefully remembered, that this deficit would 
have been much more serious but for the timely aid which 
our treasury received in the proceeds of the " Eulogy on 
Mr. Dowse/' by our distinguished associate Mr. Everett, 
whose remarkable accomplishments and gifts, while they 
have enriched so many other associations, have not passed 
over our own, without leaving substantial and memorable 


The Standing Committee are required by the By-laws to 
make annually, in the month of April, a careful examination 
of the Library and Museum of the Society ; comparing the 
books, manuscripts, and other articles in each, with their 
catalogues respectively, and reporting at the April meeting, 
in detail, concerning their condition. The want of a proper 
catalogue of these collections has prevented the Committee 
from making the careful examination and comparison which 
is intended. They can report only in general terms, that 
they have found the Library and Museum in their usual 
order; and would refer the Society, for the particulars of 
the accessions, present condition, and wants of these de- 
partments, to the Reports of the Librarian and the Cabinet- 


A special duty assigned to the Standing Committee the 
present year was the publication of a Catalogue of the 
Society's Library. Considerable progress has been made 
in this work, under the charge of the Secretary and Mr. 
Deane. A specimen of two hundred and forty pages is 
presented for the inspection of members, that they may be 
able not only to see how much has been done, but also 


to obtain a general idea of the character and appearance 
of the Catalogue. 

For defraying the expense of publishing the Catalogue, 
a subscription was commenced ; by the terms of which, each 
person who contributed fifty dollars or more was entitled 
to a complete set of the Society's Collections. The amount 
received on this subscription is six hundred and five dollars. 
The cost of printing, thus far, is four hundred and forty-one 
dollars and seven cents ; leaving a balance in the hands of 
the Treasurer of one hundred and sixty-three dollars and 
ninety-three cents. It is for the Society to decide how the 
further payment for printing the Catalogue shall be provided 


By a vote of the Society in April last, the Standing 
Committee were authorized to publish such a selection from 
the recent Proceedings of the Society as they deemed to 
be of general interest. The Chairman and Secretary were 
appointed a Subcommittee to carry this vote into effect. 
Circumstances beyond their control have compelled the 
Committee to delay the publication of the work until the 
present time. They are able to-day to submit to the Society, 
as the result of their labor, a volume of over four hundred 
pages, illustrated with several fine engravings, executed 
expressly for this work, without expense to the Society. 
The entire cost of printing and binding the edition of five 
hundred copies is six hundred and seventy-six dollars and 
seventy-three cents. Had the illustrations been engraved 
at the expense .of the Society, the cost of the edition would 
have exceeded a thousand dollars. The bills for printing 
and binding have been paid ; and the entire receipts for 
sales of the volume can be used towards defraying the 
current expenses of the Society the coming year. The 
Committee recommend that the volume be sent to the in- 
stitutions and individuals which have heretofore received 


the Collections of the Society, either by courtesy or ex- 
change ; and that the price at which the volume is sold 
be fixed at two dollars per copy. 

We are indebted to the liberality of the executors of 
the late Samuel Appleton for a beautiful engraving from the 
Society's portrait of the munificent founder of the Appleton 
Fund; to Edward Belknap, Esq., for an engraving of the 
head of his grandfather, the late Jeremy Belknap, also for 
a fine line engraving of Gullager's portrait of Washington, 
which is particularly noticed by Dr. Belknap in his journal, 
recently presented to the Society, and a portion of which 
is printed in the Proceedings. This head of Washington 
has never before been engraved; and, having been taken 
during Washington's visit to Boston in 1789, it will be 
regarded with interest. The portraits of Thomas Dowse 
from Wight's painting, and of Edward Everett from Stuart's 
unfinished sketch, painted in 1821, — -the only portraits in the 
Dowse Library, — -were furnished by Mr. Dowse's executors. 

Our Corresponding Member, — Benjamin R. Winthrop, of 
New York, — learning that the Committee of Publication 
desired to adorn their volume with an engraving of the 
Washington Chair, which he presented to the Society, 
generously offered to defray the expense of the engraving. 

A few words respecting the object and character of the 
publication may most easily be given in the words of the pre- 
face to the volume ; and with this extract the Standing Com- 
mittee will close their Report : — 

" The publication of the Proceedings of the Society is not 
intended to interfere with that of the Collections, of which 
three series, and a part of the fourth, — - thirty-four volumes 
in all, — « have already been issued, and another volume is 
now in charge of a Publishing Committee. The Collections 
have hitherto been necessarily of quite a miscellaneous 
character. The liberal provisions of the Appleton Fund 
will hereafter allow the Society to publish annually a hand- 

1859.] PROCEEDINGS. 245 

some volume from original manuscripts of permanent interest, 
either from its own archives or from other sources ; while 
the Proceedings will contain an account of the stated and 
special meetings, the reports of committees, correspondence, 
announcements of donations, and papers of a less elabo- 
rate character, prepared by members, and read before the 

" Another volume of Proceedings, commencing with the 
Annual Meeting in April, 1858, is already in press. The 
Committee hope that there will also be prepared, at some 
convenient and not very remote time, a digest or selection 
from the Society's records, which may give a connected 
history of its origin and early transactions, — that the 
Society may thus acknowledge, in the most fitting manner, 
its indebtedness to the founders and early members by 
whose exertions, so wisely applied, it was established on a 
basis which has secured its continued usefulness and in- 
creasing prosperity." 

Respectfully submitted. 

For the Standing Committee, 

George Livermore. 
Boston, April 14, 1859. 

Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented to 
George Livermore, Esq., — to whose untiring labors and 
unfailing liberality the Society have owed so much, — 
for his valuable services as Chairman of the Standing 
Committee during the past year, and also to Colonel 
Thomas Aspinwall, his faithful associate, on their 
retirement from the Committee, under the rules of 

The Librarian and the Cabinet-keeper presented their 
Annual Reports, which were accepted, and ordered to 
be placed on file, and to be printed in the Proceedings. 


Annual Beport of the Librarian. 

The Librarian respectfully submits the Annual Report 
required of him by the Rules. 

The different items of addition to the library during the 
past year amount in all to two thousand three hundred and 
sixty-eight; viz., two thousand and ten pamphlets, three 
hundred and forty-four bound volumes, ten maps, three col- 
lections of manuscripts, and one unbound volume of news- 
papers. This is about a thousand more distinct items of 
donation than were received last year. The number of bound 
volumes, however, is a hundred and fifteen less ; the manu- 
scripts, much less in number and in importance ; and the 
entire addition, though in some particulars of great value 
and interest, has not, as a whole, so much that is rare, 
curious, and of service, as that of last year. It is sufficiently 
ample, however, to inspire — what in every case, it is be- 
lieved, has been expressed — our acknowledgments and grati- 
tude to the donors, and to beget the pleasant conviction, that 
our library is more and more attracting the attention both 
of our own members, and of persons and societies at a dis- 
tance, through whose contributions it is becoming the 
depository of biblical treasures, whose value can hardly 
be calculated in dollars and cents. 

Of the bound volumes added to the library, twenty-three 
have been procured in exchange for sets of our own Col- 
lections, and consist of three very valuable works: viz., 
Dugdale's " Monasticon," eight volumes ; Thurloe's " State 
Papers," seven volumes ; Rushworth's " State Papers," eight 
volumes. Among the other bound volumes may be men- 
tioned, as interesting or important, Dart's " History of Westr 
minster Abbey " and Rapin's " History of England," presented 
by Charles Hancock, Esq., and which were, probably, once a 
part of the library of Governor Hancock. 


2. Lodge's " Illustrations of British History," three volumes ; 
Anderson's " History of Commerce," four volumes ; Ekins' 
" Naval Battles," one volume, — presented by T. J. Herring. 

3. Twenty small volumes of curious and valuable tracts 
relating to various subjects, theological and historical ; espe- 
cial English maritime enterprises and discoveries in Sir 
Francis Drake's time, — presented by our associate, Hon. 
C. H. Warren. 

4. Thirty-three volumes of American literature, — dramas, 
poems, and other works, — published in this country soon 
after the Revolution ; presented by our associate, George 
Ticknor, Esq. 

5. Anburey's " Travels," one volume, from the library of 
the late Eben Francis ; presented by his daughters, Mrs. 
Bowditch and Mrs. Mason. 

The manuscripts received are, 1. The Waldron Papers, 
presented by Mrs. Benjamin Guild ; consisting of forty-three 
letters of William Waldron, and two of Mrs. Waldron. 

2. Governor Jonathan Belcher's Letter-book, presented by 
Hon. C. H. Warren. 

3. Manuscript notes of sermons of various preachers, made 
probably from 1680 to 1700, by an Elisha Cook, sen. ; and 
presented by our associate, Leverett Saltonstall, Esq. 

Of the maps received, four are county maps, presented by 
the County Commission, and are maps of Plymouth County, 
Bristol County, Norfolk County; and of Barnstable, Nan- 
tucket, and Duke's County, on one map. Two are maps of 
the Crimea and of the Baltic Sea, and two are manuscript 
Chinese maps, presented by Lieutenant Preble, of the United- 
States Navy. 

These various items of donation to the library — three 
thousand three hundred and sixty-eight — have been received 
from a hundred and forty-eight different sources ; which is 
an increase in the number of contributors, over that of last 
year, of forty-four. The individual contributors are a hun- 


dred and fourteen; which is an increase over those of last 
year of thirty-one, and that increase is chiefly from among 
members of the Society. The civil or municipal governments, 
literary societies, and other associations contributing, are 
thirty-four ; which is an increase of thirteen over those of 
last year. 

The use of the library, as determined by the number of 
books taken out, and by visits to it for the purposes of reading 
and investigation, in our agreeable rooms, has largely in- 
creased during the year. All the books taken out have been 
returned, and in good condition, except two, — Walker's 
" History of Industry," and one volume of " Purchas," — 
which are retained on special permission of the Standing 
Committee. No book has been lost. The two volumes re- 
ported as missing last year — Young's " Chronicles of the 
Pilgrims," and Sargent's " History of Braddock's Expedition " 
— have not been found ; but the latter has been replaced by 
a new copy, the gift of the President of the Society. The 
classification of the books in the Society's library remains 
as announced last year: but the volumes have been re- 
numbered in accordance with the classification; and the 
Dowse Library has been arranged, as far as was found 
practicable, in conformity with the plan presented in the 
Librarian's Report of last year. The necessity of more 
shelf-room, and larger provision for our increasing treasures, 
is a matter demanding the serious attention of the Standing 
Committee and the whole Society. All our present shelf- 
room is crowded to overflowing; and many books received 
the past year have no place assigned them. There are no 
shelves for them. There is a necessity resting upon us to 
make more provision for the accommodation of our increasing 
library. When this is to be done, is a question upon which 
probably there can be but one opinion. This provision is 
to be made in the large room, in the third story of the 
building. What this provision shall be, and how it shall 


be effected, are questions which the Librarian deems it his 
duty to urge upon the speedy and earnest consideration of 
the Society. 

Respectfully submitted. 

S. K. Lothrop, Librarian. 

Report of the Cabinet-Keeper. 

The Cabinet-Keeper, in accordance with the requirements 
of the By-laws of the Society, presents the following as his 
Annual Report, expressive of the condition of the museum 
intrusted to his care : — 

The property of the Society which falls under the par- 
ticular charge of the Keeper of the Cabinet consists of a 
large variety of articles, the value of which mainly depends 
upon the historical associations connected with them, and upon 
the aid which they furnish the archaeological student in 
pursuing antiquarian investigations. Among these may be 
mentioned a valuable collection of portraits of individuals, 
who, in some of the many callings and relations of life, have 
become sufficiently noted to entitle them to a personal re- 
membrance in a Society devoted solely to historical pursuits. 
Besides these, there are many curiosities illustrative of the 
peculiar customs and social habits of the people of the Oceanic 
Islands, and of various foreign countries ; and, more espe- 
cially, of the aboriginal inhabitants of the American Continent, 
who were occupants of the soil before the settlement of 
Europeans. Many remembrancers of the olden time, — of the 
fathers of New England, and of the more recent revolution- 
ary period, are preserved in the cabinet with great care, as 
among the most desirable and valuable of treasures. A con- 
siderable number of coins and medals, and a numerous collec- 



tion of other articles of small size, together with a few works 
of art and ingenuity, comprise the remaining objects of the 
Society's museum. 

This department of the Society's treasures does not appear 
in an advantageous light. Although all the portraits have 
been carefully arranged and labelled during the past year, 
many of them require the labor and skill of a competent 
artist to restore their decaying canvas and fading colors. 
The coins and medals require suitable cases for their preser- 
vation and exhibition ; and the smaller matters, which are 
generally considered as cabinet articles, require one or more 
glazed cases, such as the one which has been placed upon the 
table in the library-room since the Report of the last annual 
meeting. There is a small room in the third story of the 
Society's building which apparently would serve well the 
purpose of a cabinet-room for the small articles, if it could 
be properly shelved, and supplied with cases. With such a 
room, suitably fitted, the cabinet might be displayed to sight, 
and the Keeper of it might feel somewhat contented and 
proud of his position ; and the department be, as it should be, 
a prominent matter of interest to the members of the Society, 
and of the community which daily visits the rich stores of the 
library so intimately connected with it. 

The general prosperity which affects the Society, it is 
hoped, will soon reach the cabinet. Yet it is a matter of 
considerable congratulation, that the articles are safe. No 
loss, as far as can be ascertained, has been sustained by the 
cabinet ; and it only remains for the Society to say the word, 
and find the means, and it can at any time assume a prominent 
position, and afford its proportionate part of interest to those 
who visit the rooms either for study or the gratification of a 
proper curiosity. 

Several additions have been made to the cabinet during 
the past year ; but these have not been so numerous as could 
be desired, or as would reasonably be expected, if there were 


ample means for their exhibition. It is the ardent wish of 
the undersigned, that another year will be productive of more 
gratifying results. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Nathl. B. Shurtleff, 
Boston, 14th April, 1859. Cabinet-Keeper. 

The Treasurer presented his Report in print, which 
was accepted. 

Treasurer's Report. 

In compliance with the request of the Standing Committee, 
the Treasurer presents the following statement of the financial 
condition of the Society : — 


Interest to Suffolk Savings Bank $1,650.00 

John Appleton, — Salary 625.00 

. George Arnold, „ 312.00 

Insurance 187.50 

City of Boston Taxes 370.63 

Preparing Belknap Papers 128.00 

Printing and binding 357.36 

Printing and binding " Proceedings of the Society" . . . 676.73 

Reprinting vol. x. of First Series of " Collections " . . . . 315.34 

Sundry expenses 182.19 

Furniture and Gas-fixtures 130.54 

Labor 55.12 

Fuel 70.25 

Stationery 46.34 

Historical Trust-Fund 318.57 

CREDITS. ' " ' - 

Balance of last year's Account $124.95 

Rent of Suffolk Savings Bank 2,200.00 

Income of the Dowse Fund 600.00 

Proceeds of Eulogy on Thomas Dowse, by Hon. Edward 

Everett 700.00 

Admission-fees 180.00 

Annual assessments 350.00 

Sales of Society's Publications 358.62 

Suffolk Savings Bank, — Taxes 370.63 

Sundries 4.00 

Sales of " Life of John Q. Adams " 225.00 

Balance due Treasurer 312.37 






This fund consists of ten thousand dollars, presented to 
the Society by the executors of the will of the late Samuel 
Appleton, Nov. 18, 1854, on the condition that its income 
shall be applied to the purchase, preservation, and publication 
of historical material. Yolumes third and fourth of the 
Fourth Series of the Society's Collections were printed at 
the charge of this fund. It is invested, as it was received 
from the executors, in the stocks named below. 

Account ending April, 1859. 


Due Treasurer $4.63 

Paid for copying 15.14 

Balance in Treasurer's hands 570.23 



Dividends on 2 Shares of Amoskeag Company $140.00 

„ „ Stark Company 80.00 

Share „ Appleton Company 80.00 

„ „ Hamilton Company 80.00 

,, „ Merrimack Company 90.00 

„ „ Cotton Mills 40.00 

„ „ Suffolk Company 40.00 

„ „ Manchester Prints . . . . . . 40.00 



This fund consists of two thousand dollars, presented to 
the Society, Oct. 15, 1855, by Hon. David Sears, the annual 
income of which may be expended in certain specified ob- 
jects, as the Society may, by special vote, direct. 

Account to April, 1859. 


By Income to Mar. 1, 1856 $32.00 

„ „ „ Sept. 1, 1856 60.00 

„ „ „ Sept. 1, 1857 125.52 

„ „ „ Sept. 1, 1858 133.05 


This sum is at the disposal of the Society. 



This fund is ten thousand dollars. It was presented to 
the Society, April, 1857, by the executors of the will of the 
late Thomas Dowse ; and it is invested in a note signed by 
Edward Hyde and 0. W. Watriss, secured by mortgage on real 
estate. The income, six hundred dollars, is used for heating 
the library-room, insurance on the library, and a portion of 
the salary of the Librarian. 


This is a special fund, raised by subscription during the 
last year towards printing the Catalogue of the Society's 


Paid John Wilson and Son for two hundred and forty pages 

of the Catalogue in type $441.07 

Balance in the Treasurer's hands 163.93 



Subscriptions received $605.00 



The Estate on Tremont Street. — The Society purchased, 
March 6, 1833, of the Provident Savings Institution, the 
second story and one-half of the attic story of this building 
for $6,500 ; and on the 13th of March, 1856, the remainder of 
the interest of this institution, for $35,000. A portion of this 
was paid by subscription ; and, for the remainder, the Society 
mortgaged the whole estate to the Suffolk Savings Bank for 
Seamen and Others for $27,500. The lower floor is leased to 
this bank for fifteen years, from March 1, 1856, for $2,200 
per year. It was the intention to provide an annual sum for 
the extinction of this debt ; but the recent activities of the 
Society have created so large a demand on the treasury, that 
this has not been possible. 


The Library, Paintings, and Cabinet. — The library con- 
sists of about eight thousand bound volumes, and thirteen 
thousand pamphlets. 

The Society's Collections. — These consist of the thirty-four 
volumes of the " Collections/' and one volume of " Proceed- 
ings/ 7 — about six thousand volumes, which are for sale. 

The Appleton Fund, of ten thousand dollars. 

The Massachusetts Historical Trust-Fund, of two thousand 

The Dowse Library. — This library was presented to the 
Society by the late Thomas Dowse, and consists of about five 
thousand volumes. 

The Dowse Fund, of ten thousand dollars. 

The Copyright of the " Life of John Quincy Adams." — 
This was presented to the Society by Hon. Josiah Quincy. 


The income of the Society consists of an annual assess- 
ment, on each Resident Member, of five dollars, or, instead, 
the payment of sixty dollars ; the admission-fee of ten dollars 
of new members ; the rent of the lower floor of the Society's 
building ; the income of the Dowse Fund ; the sales of the 
publications of the Society, and the sales of the " Life of 
John Quincy Adams." There is no income for the purchase 
of books ; nor, indeed, is there a reliable income at all ade- 
quate to the proper maintenance of an institution of so much 
public interest and utility. 

Richard Frothingham, Jun., Treasurer. 
April 9, 1859. 

Boston, April 13, 1859. — The undersigned, a Committee to examine 
the accounts of the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical Society, have 
attended to that duty, and report that the accounts are properly vouched 
and correctly cast ; and that there is due to the Treasurer, on the general 
account, three hundred and twelve dollars, thirty-seven cents ; and that there 
is in his hands, on the Appleton Fund, five hundred and seventy dollars, 


twenty cents ; and on the Trust-Fund, so called, three hundred and fifty 
dollars, fifty-seven cents ; and on the Catalogue Fund, a hundred and sixty- 
three dollars, ninety-eight cents. 

Wm. Stukgis, 


Wm. Apfleton, 

A communication was received from Charles B. 
Norton, Esq., of New York, accompanying, and con- 
veying to the Society, a printed document, of which 
the following is a copy: — 

Oaths appointed to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance 
and Supremacy ; and Declaration. 

I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be 
faithful, and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King William 
the Third. So help me God. 

I, A. B., do swear, that I do, from my heart, abhor, detest, 
and abjure, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine 
and position, that princes excommunicated, or deprived by 
the Pope or any authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed 
or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever ; and 
I do declare, that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or 
potentate, hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, 
superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, — ecclesiastical or 
spiritual, — within the realm of England. So help me God. 

I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, 
profess, testify, and declare, that I do believe, that, in the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, there is not any transub- 
stantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body 
and blood of Christ, at or after the consecration thereof by 
any person whatsoever ; and that the invocation or adoration 
of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of 
the mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, 




are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in 
the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I 
do make this declaration, ancj^ every part thereof, in the 
plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as 
they are commonly understood by English Protestants, 
without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation 
whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted 
me for this purpose by the Pope, or any authority or person 
whatsoever ; or without any hope of any such dispensation 
from any authority or person whatsoever ; or without thinking 
that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved 
of this declaration, or any part thereof, — although the Pope, 
or any other person or persons or power whatsoever, should 
dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null 
and void from the beginning. 

Thomas Perley. 
William Wilson. 
Jereh. Sweyne. 
Edward Jackson. 
William Vesey. 
Nathl. Knoulton. 
Joseph Sherman. 
John White. 
Phinehas Upham. 
Elezer Frary. 
James Davis. 
Saml. Fogg. 
John White. 
David Haseltine. 
John Kimball. 
Andr. Belcher. 

John Haven. 
Abram. Preble, Jun. 
Tho. Sawin. 
Edward Fobes. 
Jos. Wolcott. 
James Coffin. 
James Warren. 
Saml. Checkley. 
Thomas Oakes. 
Jon. Goreham. 
Ebenezer Brenton. 
John Bagshot (?). 
Jedidiah Dewey. 
John Osgood. 
Samuell Robinson. 

Boston, May 27th, 1702. 
The twenty-nine persons within subscribed took the within- 
written oaths, repeated and subscribed the declaration, and 
signed the association on the other side. 

Before us, Elisha Cooke, ^ 

Sam. Sewall, [■ Jj^ 
Jse. Addington, J 



Whereas there has been a horrid and detestable conspiracy 
formed and carried on by Papists and other wicked and 
traitorous persons for assassinating His Majesty's royal 
person, in order to encourage an invasion from France, to 
subvert our religion, laws, and liberty, — we, whose names 
are hereunto subscribed, do heartily, sincerely, and solemnly 
profess, testify, and declare, that His present Majesty King 
William is rightful and lawful King of the realms of England, 
Scotland, and Ireland; and we do mutually promise and 
engage to stand by and assist each other to the utmost of 
our power, in the support and defence of His Majesty's 
most sacred person and, government against the late King 
James and all his adherents. And, in case His Majesty come 
to any violent or untimely death (which God forbid), we do 
hereby further freely and unanimously oblige ourselves to 
unite, associate, and stand by each other, in revenging the 
same upon his enemies and their adherents, and in supporting 
and defending the succession of the crown according to an 
Act made in the first year of the reign of King William and 
Queen Mary, intituled "An Act declaring the rights and 
liberties of the subject, and settling the succession of the 

Jeremiah Sweyne. 
Jedidiah Dewey. 
John Osgood. 
Samuel Robinson. 
Thomas Perley. 
William Wilson. 
Edward Jackson. 
John White. 
Nathl. Knoulton. 
Saml. Fogg. 
Phinehas Ufham. 
John White. 
Andr. Belcher. 
John Haven. 


Jos. Wolcott. 
Tho. Sawin. 
Saml. Checkley. 
Ebenezer Brenton. 
William Vesey. 
Joseph Sherman. 
Elezer Frary. 
James Davis. 
David Haseltine. 
John Kimball. 
Abram. Preble, Jun. 
Edward Fobes. 
James Warren. 
Jon. Goreham. 


Voted, That the thanks of the Society be presented to 
Mr. Norton for his acceptable donation to the archives 
of the Society. 

Baron Charles Dupin and M. Jomard, of France, 
were elected Honorary Members ; and Hon. H. D. 
Gilpin, of Philadelphia, a Corresponding Member. 

The President asked the attention of the Society to 
the following communication from William H. Gardiner, 
Esq., an executor of the will of Mr. Prescott, and one 
of his most intimate friends : — 

Boston, April 13, 1859. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 

President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

My dear Sir, — I address you in your official capacity, for 
the purpose of communicating the fact, that our much-lamented 
friend Prescott made in his last will an appropriate bequest 
to the venerable Society over which you preside, and of 
which he was himself a distinguished member, fully appre- 
ciated by his associates while he lived, and worthily honored 
in their published notice of his death. 

You are doubtless aware — for the fact was familiar to all 
his personal friends, and has even been mentioned in more 
than one publication on both sides of the Atlantic, I think — • 
that this eminent historian and peaceful man of letters was 
well pleased to be the possessor of two swords, which used to 
hang, crossing each other, over the recess of the great win- 
dow in his library. 

You have probably yourself seen them there, and have 
perhaps heard him speak of them. They often gave him 
occasion for a pleasant remark, or for the brief narration of a 
little piece of family history, or of some other anecdote con- 
nected with them, as often as the singularity of the circum- 
stance appeared to fix the attention of some stranger among 


his guests. For in that elegant apartment, used by him 
commonly as a reception-room, where the visitor found himself 
surrounded by some thousands of choice books in beautiful 
bindings, together with busts and pictures of distinguished 
men of letters, and other appropriate symbols of literary ease 
and culture, the eye was struck, at the entrance, by the strange 
contrast of these two martial implements, which seemed to be 
purposely so disposed as to attract attention ; for they occu- 
pied a most conspicuous place among the chosen decorations 
of the room. 

They were purposely so placed, not as unmeaning orna- 
ments, but because they were ancestral memorials, with a 
story attached to them. This, as you know, was enough to 
give them a peculiar value in the estimate of our friend Pres- 
cott, who in that, as in some other characteristics, bore a 
certain resemblance to Sir Walter Scott. 

Of these two weapons, the one was the sword of his re- 
nowned grandfather, Colonel William Prescott, and was worn 
by that distinguished officer on the eventful day when he 
commanded the American forces in the redoubt on Bunker's 
Hill; or, since I address the President of an Historical So- 
ciety, I suppose I may be bound to say, more accurately, 
Breed's Hill. . The other formerly belonged to the grandfather 
of Mrs. Prescott, — the gallant Captain Linzee, of the British 
Royal Navy, — and was worn by him on the same eventful 
day, while in command of the sloop-of-war " Falcon," riding at 
anchor in the Charles River, opposite to the above-mentioned 
hill, and charged with the duty of cannonading the rebels 
assembled there or in its neighborhood, so as to make Colonel 
Prescott's ill-protected position as disagreeable and untenable 
as possible. 

It was certainly a curious coincidence, that, in the train of 
human events, these weapons, which former owners would 
have been ready on that day, as public enemies, to bury in 
each other's bosoms, had occasion required it, should have 


been brought, by the marriage of their descendants of the 
third generation, into such an amiable relation as to hang 
peacefully together, a principal ornament to a scholar's room 
fitted up expressly for literary and historical pursuits. 

One who knew Prescott well may easily imagine what a 
field these incidents afforded for the play of his lively fancy 
in a genial mood ; and his mood was seldom any other with 
his friends. I wish it were possible to give a little interest to 
this letter by recalling his own language in some of the many 
varied remarks, always spirited and entertaining, often highly 
interesting, and at times overflowing with his own sparkling 
wit, which, on different occasions, I have heard fall from his 
lips on the suggestion of this theme, when the attention of his 
guests happened to be called to his military possessions. But, 
alas ! there was no Boswell in the company ; and the spirit of 
the remarks has fled with that of their author, leaving behind 
only a cluster of impressions and associations most agreeable 
for friends to dwell upon, but such as can never be conveyed 
to others, who know him only through his published works. 
Yet I think you will agree with me, that even those of your 
Society who have never enjoyed the high pleasure of hearing 
his own comments on these revolutionary relics, and the anec- 
dotes of that period which they naturally recall, or the inci- 
dents of more modern date which brought the two to be . 
united to one hand, — members, indeed, not of the present 
day only, but who will fill your places in future generations, 
as preservers of the cherished memories of Massachusetts, — 
will not fail to find an especial interest in these heirlooms 
of departed heroes of our Revolutionary War, not merely 
because they are so, and thus intimately associated with a 
memorable day of battle, but for the further reason of new, 
superadded associations, derived from the place whence they 
last come, and where they constituted, for many years, objects 
of dear regard to a distinguished man of letters. It may be 
something, I fancy, even for the ear of posterity, to be able to 


say of such curiosities, " Here are some of our jewels. They 
once armed the hands of distinguished warriors, hostilely 
opposed in the first great fight for American independence ; 
but they afterwards came, by regular channels of descent and 
matrimonial alliance, to adorn for years the library of a great 
historian, of whom Massachusetts is as justly proud as of any 
son who ever led her military forces in the day of her great 
struggle. Through him they came to us." 

Indeed, when we look to the remote future, let me ask, 
may not even a stronger assurance of permanent historical 
interest, attaching itself to these relics, be derived from their 
intimate connection with the closet of the historian, than from 
their former place in the battle-field where his ancestor com- 
manded ? To estimate this rightly, one need hardly be re- 
minded that the world persists, and probably ever will, in a 
misnomer, already once alluded to, of this very battle-field ; 
while in our time, nay, within half a century from the day of 
that battle, we have seen it questioned, and seriously contro- 
verted, who was the real commander of the raw troops assem- 
bled in the breastwork on Breed's Hill, which first taught 
Great Britain to respect the enemies she had created. But, 
while print endures, never can it be doubted who was that 
remarkable Bostonian, who by singular perseverance against 
the most discouraging obstacles, a will which could control 
forces more difficult to manage than those which his ancestor 
commanded, and a patient self-culture beyond all common 
example, trained his naturally brilliant but somewhat excursive 
qualities of mind, until he made himself, — using those words 
in their truest sense, — what no one denies him to have been, 
— one of the most eminent historians of the time in which he 
lived. Perhaps I might safely go one step further, without 
fear of being charged with exaggeration through the partial- 
ity of friendship. I think it may be truly said, that by these 
means, added to untiring diligence of research and a most 
careful sifting of his authorities, he made himself the most 


widely celebrated historical writer of the day ; for his works 
are already known and held in the highest estimation by 
scholars, and men of letters, all over the world. Yet this is 
not all. This is equally true of a select number of other 
modern historians. But it is more peculiar to Prescott's his- 
tories, that, while so esteemed by the learned everywhere, 
they are, at the same time, eminently popular reading, and 
that not where the English language only is read. With such 
a limitation, the same might with equal truth be said of 
Irving, Macaulay, and some others. So, to the almost Euro- 
pean extent of the French language, the like remark doubtless 
might be made concerning several highly reputed historians 
of that nation. But some, at least, of the histories of Prescott, 
have become, through manifold translation, popular reading in 
the vernacular of almost every country where a civilized lan- 
guage is spoken. They have not stopped short of the frozen 
regions of Russia, where a translation into the language of 
that country is recently announced. It is this polyglot popu- 
larity, if I may coin such a phrase, which, to so great an 
extent, I think may be claimed as distinctive of these remark- 
able productions, compared with those of any other modern 
historian, — of any, at least, whose writings are equal to satis- 
fying at once the judgment of sound critics and the taste of 
the many, and which are found to exist, in a form readable 
by the many, to the extent of some one, or two, or at most, 
and very rarely, three living languages. Prescott's are read 
in at least double that number. This is surely evidence to 
support the claim of the most wide contemporaneous celebrity ; 
and when we add to such uncommonly diffuse popularity the 
consideration of sterling merits, in the judgment of the most 
select critics, for depth of research and accuracy of statement, 
adorned by a singularly captivating style, it seems hardly rash 
to conclude, that these works, clothed with the immortality 
of the printed page, will constitute a monument far more 
enduring than that which we have built for perpetuity, in 


solid stone, on the height which Colonel Prescott so nobly 

The right of that glorious ancestor to be called the com- 
mander of the day, may indeed, through all time, be occasion- 
ally called into question, as it has been ; but no man assuredly 
will ever cast a shadow of doubt on the title of his more 
widely known descendant to the authority of works which are 
already published and distributed wherever civilization reads. 
Is it not, then, something more than probable, that he, of 
Europe or of America, whose eye may rest, at some period of 
the distant future, on these little memorials, with knowledge 
of their history, will refer his first sensation of interest to the 
author of the " Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella," and of all 
the brilliant train which followed it, before he goes back to 
a somewhat dimmer period to elicit a new emotion growing 
out of their connection with our Revolutionary annals ? 

By an extract, which I have transcribed below, from the 
will of Mr Prescott, you will see, my dear sir, that the one of 
the two swords which possesses for Americans the chief his- 
torical value — that of Colonel Prescott — as bequeathed to 
the Massachusetts Historical Society, " as a curiosity suitable 
to be preserved among their collections ; " while the title of 
Mr. Prescott to that which came from his wife's family, and 
of which he may have considered himself rather a depositary 
than the absolute owner, is left to Mrs. Prescott to dispose of 
as she should think proper. 

My duty, as a mere executor of Mr. Prescott's will, would 
be discharged, therefore, by causing to be delivered to the 
Society the former of these swords alone; but I am very happy 
to be commissioned to add, that Mrs. Prescott and the other 
heirs of Captain Linzee unite in requesting me to present 
at the same time, in their behalf, the sword of their ancestor 
also, that, should such be the pleasure of the Society, the 
two, enriched by all the memories which now belong to them, 
may still hang together on its walls, as they have, through so 


many years, on the walls of their late possessor, — an emblem, 
let us hope, of perpetual peace between kindred nations, 
whose opposition in arms they once represented. 

Through the kind agency of our mutual friend Mr. Ticknor, 
who will be present at the approaching meeting of your Socie- 
ty, I am enabled, by his hands, to make actual delivery, on 
that occasion, both of the sword which now becomes its pro- 
perty through the will of Mr. Prescott, and of its fellow, pre- 
sented by the heirs of Captain Linzee ; and, with my best 
wishes for the continual prosperity of the Massachusetts His- 
torical Society, I am also personally, 

With the truest regard, 

Your friend and servant, 

W. H. Gardiner. 


Thirteenth Item. — The sword which belonged to my grand- 
father, Colonel William Prescott, worn by him in the battle of 
Bunker Hill, I give to the Massachusetts Historical Society, 
as a curiosity suitable to be preserved among their collections ; 
and the sword which belonged to my wife's grandfather, Cap- 
tain Linzee, of the British Royal Navy, who commanded one 
of the enemy's ships during the same battle, I give to my 

Immediately after the reading of Mr. Gardiner's com- 
munication, the two swords which it conveyed to the 
Society, and which till that moment had remained 
covered on the officers' table, were exposed to the view 
of the members ; and the following resolutions, offered 
by the President, were unanimously adopted ; viz. : — 

Resolved, That the Massachusetts Historical Society receive 
and accept with the deepest sensibility and gratitude the 


swords of Colonel William Prescott and Captain Linzee, which 
have so long adorned the library of our late beloved asso- 
ciate, William H. Prescott ; that we prize them as precious 
memorials of a period when the unhappy conflicts of kindred 
countries were overruled, by a merciful Providence, to the 
ultimate interests and advantage of both, in the establish- 
ment of American liberty and independence ; that we shall 
ever cherish them, as our lamented friend cherished them, as 
touching relics of a struggle, of which all the bitterness and 
rancor are forgotten, and nothing but the glorious results 
remembered ; and that we will preserve them, not only, as 
he preserved them, in token of the bravery and gallantry 
of those with whom he was united by ties of affection or of 
blood, but with the added and enhanced interest which must 
ever attach to them as having been among the peculiar 
treasures of one who connected the noblest achievements of 
literature with a family name which was already associated 
with the highest distinctions of the forum and of the field. 

Resolved, That the Standing Committee be instructed, in 
connection with the Cabinet-keeper, to arrange the swords of 
Colonel Prescott and Captain Linzee in a conspicuous place 
in our halls, crossing each other as they were crossed in the 
library of our lamented friend, and with a suitable and legible 
inscription setting forth their history to the time at which 
they were presented to this Society, and the circumstances 
under which they were received. 

Resolved, That attested copies of these resolutions, signed 
by the President and Recording Secretary, be communicated 
to Mrs. William H. Prescott, and to William H. Gardiner, Esq., 
the friend and executor of the late accomplished historian, 
with an expression of our best thanks for the most acceptable 
and obliging manner in which the kindness of the living has 
co-operated with the expressed wishes of the dead in intrust- 
ing to the guardianship of this Society these precious histori- 
cal memorials. 



Before trie adoption of the resolutions, Mr. Ticknor, 
on rising to second them, gave utterance, in a very 
touching manner, to the feelings which the communi- 
cation of Mr. Gardiner had awakened ; confirming 
and illustrating with great force the allusion made by 
Mr. Gardiner to the patient and persevering self-culture, 
beyond all common example^ by which Mr. Prescott had 
made himself one of the most eminent of historians 
and estimable of men. 

Mr. Sears read the following letter from Mr. J. 
Lothrop Motley, of this Society, to his friend William 
Amory, Esq., written at the moment of his receiving 
the intelligence of the death of Mr. Prescott : — 

Letter from J. Lothrop Motley. 

Rome, 26th February, 1859. 

My dear Amory, — This is the first post-day from this place 
for America since we heard of Prescott's death. Two or 
three days ago, I had been holding " Galignani's Messenger" in 
my hand for a quarter of an hour, looking from one column to 
another rather listlessly, when all at once my eye fell upon a 
single line of a telegraph communication announcing this fatal 
event. You may imagine how suddenly and deeply affected 
we were by this unexpected intelligence ; for every account 
that I had been able to procure for a year past had led me to 
the conclusion, that many years of happy and vigorous life 
were before him. I shall not say more of the effect produced 
within our own household by the news. Many tears have 
been shed for him in distant parts of the world ; for it was 
impossible for any man or woman, that had ever enjoyed the 


privilege of his intimate acquaintance, not to feel that in his 
death they had sustained a severe personal loss ; for it was 
the great characteristic of Prescott, that he always inspired 
affection. I never in my life heard any one, that knew him, 
speak of him except with warm expressions of personal at- 
tachment. Every one was proud of him, every one admired 
him, and' all those who had the honor of his acquaintance 
loved him. It seemed that envy, which is so apt to haunt 
the steps of an illustrious man like his shadow, had been 
unable to fasten upon him. No one, who had looked upon his 
gentle, charming countenance, and been warmed in the sun- 
shine of his most genial and sympathetic smile, and knew the 
frank, unaffected, sincere, faithful, generous qualities of his 
whole nature, could help participating, as it were, with him, 
in the enjoyment of his triumphs, instead of feeling any wish 
to detract from his nobly gained reputation. 

I have not the slightest inclination, in writing to you on 
this occasion, my dear Amory, to pronounce a eulogy upon 
your friend and brother; but I feel, for my own relief, an 
absolute necessity of speaking to you about him. I do not 
feel authorized to intrude upon the sacred grief of your 
sister's desolute fireside ; for I know that there all language, 
even the words of praise and affection, is an idle mockery. 
Those nearest and dearest to him know best the bitterness of 
their own hearts ; and I feel that it would be a profanation on 
my part to address myself personally to them. But you, 
whom I am proud to call my dear and intimate friend, know 
how deeply I valued and honored Prescott ; and you will be 
willing, I am sure, whenever and in whatever way you think 
proper, to express to your sister the deep personal sorrow 
which both my wife and myself feel in his loss. 

I don't wish to speak to you of him as an author : my heart 
is too full of the man and the friend to think of the historian. 
Besides, it would be quite superfluous, almost an impertinence, 
to talk about his literary celebrity. Wherever the English 


language is spoken, — over the whole earth, — his name is 
perfectly familiar. We all of us know what his place was 
in America. But I can also say, that, in eight years passed 
abroad, I never met a single educated person, of whatever 
nation, that was not well acquainted with his fame, and hardly 
one who had not read his works. No living American name 
is so widely spread over the whole world. I do not know 
whether he was himself aware — a fact which I have not long 
since become acquainted with — that his works were trans- 
lated into the Russian language, and well known in that coun- 
try. Of course, in all the more civilized tongues, they have 
long since been part and parcel of each national literature. 

I feel inexpressibly disappointed — speaking now, for an 
instant, purely from a literary point of view — that the noble 
and crowning monument of his life, for which he had laid such 
massive foundations, and the structure of which had been 
carried forward in such a grand and masterly manner, must 
remain uncompleted, like the unfinished peristyle of some 
stately and beautiful temple on which the night of time has 
suddenly descended. But, still, the works which his great 
and untiring hand had already thoroughly finished will re- 
main to attest his learning and genius, — a precious and per- 
petual possession for his country. 

But, as I have already said, I do not wish to talk about 
him as the great author. I deeply regret that I cannot be 
with you now, that we might talk together for hours over his 
noble and genial and winning qualities of mind and heart. 
You know how kind and generous and sympathetic he always 
was to me, from the first moment that I had decided to enroll 
myself in the profession of which he was then one of the 
world's acknowledged chiefs. You may not remember the 
circumstances ; which, however, I have often mentioned to 
you : but, when I forget them, I hope that my right hand 
may forget its cunning. 

It seems to me but as yesterday — though it must be now 


twelve years ago — that I was talking with our ever-lamented 
friend Stackpole about my intention of writing a history 
upon a subject to which I have since that time been devoting 
myself. I had then made already some general studies in 
reference to it, without being in the least aware that Prescott 
had the intention of writing the history of Philip II. Stack- 
pole had heard the fact, and that large preparations had 
already been made for the work, although " Peru " had not yet 
been published. I felt naturally much disappointed. I was 
conscious of the immense disadvantage to myself of making 
my appearance, probably at the same time, before the public 
with a work not at all similar in plan to Philip II., but which 
must, of necessity, traverse a portion of the same ground. 
My first thought was, inevitably, as it were, only of myself. 
It seemed to me that I had nothing to do but to abandon at 
once a cherished dream, and probably to renounce author- 
ship ; for I had not first made up my mind to write a history, 
and then cast about to take up a subject. My subject had 
taken up me, drawn me on, and absorbed me into itself. It 
was necessary for me, it seemed, to write the book I had been 
thinking much of, even if it were destined to fall dead from 
the press ; and I had no inclination or interest to write any 
other. When I had made up my mind accordingly, it then 
occurred to me that Prescott might not be pleased that I 
should come forward upon his ground. It is true that no 
announcement of his intentions had been made, and that he 
had not, I believe, even commenced his preliminary studies 
for Philip. At the same time, I thought it would be disloyal 
on my part not to go to him at once, confer with him on the 
subject, and, if I should find a shadoiv of dissatisfaction on his 
mind at my proposition, to abandon my plan altogether. 

I had only the slightest acquaintance with him at that 
time. I was comparatively a young man, and certainly not 
entitled on any ground to more than common courtesy, which 
Prescott never could refuse any one ; but he received me 


with such a frank and ready and liberal sympathy, and such 
an open-hearted, guileless expansiveness, that I felt a personal 
affection for him from that hour. I remember the interview 
as if it had taken place yesterday. It was in his father's 
house, in his own library, looking on the garden. House and 
garden, honored father and illustrious son, alas ! all num- 
bered with the things that were. He assured me that he 
had not the slightest objection whatever to my plan ; that he 
wished me every success ; and that, if there were any books 
in his library, bearing on my subject, that I liked to use, they 
were entirely at my service. After I had expressed my grati- 
tude for his kindness and cordiality, by which I had been in 
a very few moments set completely at ease, so far as my 
fears of his disapprobation went, I also very naturally stated 
my opinion, that the danger was entirely mine, and that it 
was rather wilful of me thus to risk such a collision at my 
first venture, the probable consequence of which was utter 
shipwreck. I recollect how kindly and warmly he combated 
this opinion ; assuring me that no two books, as he said, 
ever injured each other, and encouraging me in the warmest 
and most earnest manner to proceed on the course I had 
marked out for myself. 

Had the result of that interview been different; had he 
distinctly stated, or even vaguely hinted, that it would be as 
well if I should select some other topic ; or had he only 
sprinkled me with the cold water of conventional and common- 
place encouragement, — I should have gone from him with a 
chill upon my mind, and, no doubt, have laid down the pen at 
once ; for, as I have already said, it was not that I cared about 
writing a history, but that I felt an inevitable impulse to write 
one particular history. 

You know how kindly he always spoke of and to me ; and 
the generous manner in which, without the slightest hint 
from me, and entirely unexpected by me, he attracted the 
eyes of his hosts of readers to my forthcoming work, by so 


handsomely alluding to it in the preface to his own, must be 
almost as fresh in your memory as it is in mine. And although 
it seems easy enough for a man of world-wide reputation 
thus to extend the right hand of fellowship to an unknown 
and struggling aspirant, yet I fear that the history of litera- 
ture will show that such instances of disinterested kindness 
are as rare as they are noble. 

I have said enough upon this theme ; but I do not apologize 
for egotism, for it is not egotism. I wished to illustrate, by a 
matter very important to me personally, many very prominent 
characteristics in our friend's nature, — generosity, ready 
power of sympathizing, truthfulness, frankness, too bright for 
any disguise. No mask ever hid that most sunny and attrac- 
tive face from the world's eyes ; and those who knew him the 
best and the longest loved him the most. It seems to me 
impossible to think of Boston without Prescott, as if the 
place was no longer the same. There are many great men 
over whom the earth can close like water, and leave no trace 
of their appearance ; but it seems as if the whole heart of 
our community must be wounded by such a calamity as his 
death, and that a shadow must come over every household. 
Every one in America and out of America honored and ad- 
mired him ; but, in Boston, every one loved him. 

For myself, when I reflect that I shall never again press 
his friendly hand, and listen to his kind and gentle voice, and 
enjoy his most delightful companionship, I feel that I, too, 
have lost what can never be restored to me, and that I have a 
right to claim my part in the great sorrow which has befallen 
us all. 

Believe me, my dear Amory, 

Ever most sincerely your friend, 

(Signed) J. L. Motley. 


Dr. Blagden, of the Committee for nominating 
officers, reported the following list; and the persons 
therein named were elected : — 



JARED SPARKS, LL.D Cambridge. 

Hon. DAVID SEARS, A.M Boston. 

Recording Secretary. 

Corresponding Secretary. 

Hon. RICHARD FROTHINGHAM, Jun., A.M Charlestown. 

Rev. SAMUEL K. LOTHROP, D.D Boston. 


Standing Committee. 

Hon. EMORY WASHBURN, LL.D Cambridge. 

Hon. LORENZO SABINE, A.M Roxbury. 

CHARLES DEANE, A.M Cambridge. 




Resolved, That the cordial thanks of the Society be 
presented to Edward Belknap, Esq., for his thoughtful 
liberality in furnishing at his own charge, for the vol- 
ume of Proceedings just printed, the engravings of 
Washington, and of their respected founder, Dr. Bel- 
knap, from the original portraits in his possession. 

Resolved, That the Standing Committee be directed 
to present the thanks of the Society to the other gentle- 
men who have generously contributed towards the other 
illustrations in this volume of Proceedings. 

Mr. Warren, from the Publishing Committee, reported 
that progress had been made in the preparation of a 
new volume of the Collections. 

Voted, That the Committee on the Treasurer's ac- 
counts — viz., Messrs. Bowditch, William Appleton, and 
Sturgis — be authorized to make such expenditures 
for the security of the Society's building against tire 
as they may deem to be necessary. 


A special meeting of the Society was held this even- 
ing, April 28, at the house of the Hon. P. C. Winthrop. 
The members were called to order by the President, at 
eight o'clock, who introduced the business of the meet- 
ing by a few remarks, and the reading of the following 
letter from Sir Robert Carr, Knt, one of the Commis- 



sioners with Richard Nicholls, George Cartwright, and 
Samuel Maverick, in 1664, " for inquiry, and to establish 
bounds," &c. This letter was furnished by Richard 
Almack, Esq., from the original in his possession. It 
is addressed " to the Right Honble the Earle of Lau- 
derdale, Secretary to his Matie for the Kingdom of 
Scotland," and bears date, Boston, Dec. 5, 1665. 

My Lord, — May it please your lordship, I had, by letter by 
Colonel Cartwright, given you a large account of our trans- 
actions here, and put your lordship to the trouble of being 
assistant to me in a business of mine own ; but, hearing 
Colonel Cartwright is taken by a Dutch privateer, I make 
bold to give you a summary account of some of those things 
I wrote to you by him. In the first place, concerning Duke 
Hamilton his patent. It was never heard of in these parts 
until we showed a copy of it ; for the duke never sent over 
agent, servant, or planter. Some part of it was granted to 
the Lord Say and others, and bought of them by Connecticut, 
and since granted by his majesty to that Colony of Connecti- 
cut by patent : and some part is now belonging to his 
majesty, called the King's Province ; and the north part of 
it lies within the line of the Massachusetts, as Colonel Car1> 
wright can let you see by a map. 

If the king would take the lands lying east to Connecticut 
River, and join it with Rhode Island to the King's Province, 
it would make a good receptacle for the king's loyal subjects, 
and be a great stop to the Massachusetts if they should rebel. 
Rhode-Island Colony is so full of faction, and so void of men 
fit to govern, — for there is, beside the Governor and Deputy- 
Governor (betwixt whom, to my knowledge, there is a great 
feud), not one fit to make a governor of; which is the reason 
they are every year chosen, — that the generality would be 
glad they were all under his majesty's government. 


On the east side of Merrimack River, one Mr. Mason lays 
claim to a Province, which should have been called New 
Hampshire ; but it is under the Massachusetts at present. In 
it are divers small patents. Mr. Mason made Colonel Nicolls 
his attorney ; who because he is tied to attend the Dutch's 
attempt against New York, and could not be here, we acted 
nothing. Beyond Piscataqua River, where Mr. Mason's 
patent ends, Mr. Gorges' begins, and reaches to Sagadahoc ; 
in which likewise are many small patents. They were under 
the Massachusetts' usurpation, and, being exceedingly tor- 
mented betwixt the contradicting authorities of the Massa- 
chusetts and Mr. Gorges, petitioned us to be relieved : where- 
upon we have taken them under the king's government until 
his pleasure be further shown. In this Province are the best 
masts and ship-timber to be had. If the king would satisfy 
the pretenders to these patents some other ways, and take 
these under his own government, and call them the Queen's 
Province, in a very short time it might be a very great 
advantage to his majesty's shipping ; and, if it be not so, the 
timber will be spoiled, and the country never peopled. These 
people here in these Provinces were very earnest with me 
that I should be their governor, and would have altered their 
petition to the king ; but Colonel Cartwright could not stay, 
who can give your lordship a further account than I can by 
writing. If the king will take these under his own govern- 
ment, I shall serve his majesty as faithfully as any he shall 
set over them ; and I hope your lordship will acquaint his 
majesty with it, and stand my friend at this distance. My 
lord, we hear that Delaware is given away ; by which I shall 
lose that for the getting of which I hazarded my life : 
wherefore I pray your lordship to procure from the king a 
grant of the land lying from Corressit, south and south-west 
to a river called Sagatucket, running into the sea about Point 
Judith, in the King's Province, in New England, for me ; that 
after so dangerous a voyage and so troublesome an employment, 


for which we have received but little, I may have a place to 
settle in, which I will endeavor to get planted as soon and as 
fast as I can. My Lord, some person or other hath cast some 
aspersion upon me (as I am informed), and represented it to 
my lord chancellor, whereby it hath come to his majesty's 
hearing; and I understand his majesty is therefore dissatisfied 
concerning me. But I doubt not to make it appear to be falsely 
and maliciously cast upon me : wherefore I presumed to send 
a letter, to be presented to his majesty, about my vindication, 
the copy whereof is here enclosed. Those who did oppose 
my coming may think to find out a way for my removal ; but 
I doubt not to give his majesty such satisfaction whereby he 
will find that I am not such a person as I am reported. Be 
pleased, my lord, to use your best endeavor to possess his 
majesty with a good opinion of me, who have been always so 
faithful in the service both of his father of blessed memory 
and of his royal self, as also in this present employment, 
and, as time and opportunity shall present, still shall remain. 
And acknowledge myself, 

My lord, your lordship's faithful servant, 

Robert Carr. 
Boston, Dec. 5, 1665. 

I have also, here enclosed, sent you a copy of a petition 
which I sent by Colonel Cartwright ; and also have renewed 
it, and requested Mr. Secretary Bennet to present it to his 
majesty if that have miscarried. 

The President exhibited a copy of. De Foe's " Essay 
on Projects," — the existence of which book had been 
recently disputed, — which he had obtained at an 
auction-sale in Boston a short time ago, and purposed 
to deposit in the Society's library. 


Mr. Ticknor called the attention of the meeting to 
a work recently published in Philadelphia, entitled 
" A New History of the Conquest of Mexico," by 
Robert Anderson Wilson ; which has been somewhat 
noticed in the newspapers, but has been received with 
a considerable feeling of distrust. He remarked, 
that — 

An author who, like Mr. Wilson, maintains that the civili- 
zation of Mexico came from Phoenicia before the time of 
Moses, and that all the accounts of the Spanish conquest, 
usually relied upon, — from the manly despatches of Cortes, 
down to the marvellously learned and philosophical travels of 
Humboldt and the brilliant and conscientious history of Pres- 
cott, — are either wild fictions, or the results of belief in 
such fictions, cannot himself, one would think, expect to find 
his path to general favor very smooth. 

Of the curt and decisive way in which Mr. Wilson sees 
fit to contradict such illustrious predecessors as those just 
mentioned, or of the details of his narrative, and of the 
discussions by which he would sustain it, we do not propose 
to speak at all. That ground is well covered by two articles 
in the " Atlantic Monthly " for April and May, written with 
ample knowledge of the subject, with pungency and ability. 
But we wish to say a word about Mr. Wilson's general trust- 
worthiness as an historian. The claims he puts forth are very 
bold ; and he will not, therefore, object to having them tested 
under the two heads of his fairness and of his learning ; in 
other words, of his fitness to do what he has undertaken 
to do. 

Many instances may be found of his want of fairness ; 
but we shall confine ourselves to one, — the case of Dr. 
Robertson, the author of the History of America and of 
Charles V. 


Mr. Wilson tells us, in one of his notes, that his father had 
been adopted into the family of the head of the Iroquois 
Indians ; and he elsewhere intimates, that he regards himself, 
in some sort, as a party concerned in whatever relates to the 
honor of that remarkable nation of savages. He goes out of 
his way, therefore, to make an attack on Dr. Robertson for 
saying that the Iroquois, at an earlier period than that in 
which he wrote his " History of America/ 7 were, like many 
other of the natives of this continent, accustomed sometimes 
to satiate their revenge by eating their enemies. Mr. Wil- 
son's words are, "Dr. Robertson, Principal of the University 
[High School] of Edinburgh, has immortalized himself by 
informing the world that the Iroquois [the Six Nations] eat 
human flesh." And then he goes on treating the historian 
as if he had either invented this charge, or taken it, lightly 
and without sufficient inquiry, on the authority of " a Jesu- 
itical author." If he refers, as he probably does, to Charle- 
voix, — a learned and excellent man, who was at one time a 
missionary in this part of the American continent, — we can 
only say, the statements of Charlevoix are ample ; and that 
we feel assured nobody can read his account of the horrors 
that accompanied the deaths of Father Brebeuf and Father 
Lalemant, and their being eaten by Iroquois, in 1649, without 
being assured of its truth. But there is no need of going so 
far, and to a book somewhat uncommon. It is only necessary 
to look into the " Relation," printed at Paris in 1666, and re- 
published*^ 1858 at Quebec, under the auspices of the Cana- 
dian Government, in order to feel equally sure, that, in 1661, 
the Sieur Brigeart was, with circumstances of atrocity too 
shocking to be repeated, roasted alive and devoured by a 
party of Iroquois, under no pretext of hunger ; for they had 
just been making " grande chere de leur chasse." Indeed, 
there is no doubt of the fact, that, in the early period of our 
knowledge of the northern part of our continent, the Iroquois, 
like other of our fierce savages, sometimes became cannibals 

1859.] Wilson's " conquest of Mexico." 279 

from an insatiable revenge. Mr. Wilson wishes to degrade 
Dr. Robertson for stating this fact in the very mild and 
cautious way he does, and would have us believe that this 
most respectable historian has asserted that the Iroquois had 
continued cannibals, when they had been " allies of the British 
crown two hundred years ; " although, both in his text and in 
his notes, Dr. Robertson says that the practice had long 
ceased when he wrote, which was about 1775-77. Now, a 
person who treats history in this way is too prejudiced, or too 
careless, or too ignorant, or all three, to be trusted. He does 
not deserve the name of an historian. He is the calumniator 
he would persuade us to think Dr. Robertson to be. 

But the task Mr. Wilson took upon himself is not only one 
that demanded fairness, but it is one that demanded learning. 
Had he, then, the learning he needed ? We might, perhaps, 
safely leave the answer of this question to the articles in the 
" Atlantic Monthly," already referred to, where many in- 
stances of gross ignorance, in great things as well as small, 
are pointed out and exposed. But there is one case so 
decisive, that we wish to note it separately : it is that of 
Bernal Diaz del Castillo, the chronicler of the conquest. No 
book, in relation to the early history of the Spanish invasion 
of Mexico, has been more relied on than his ; for it was 
written by one who claimed to have fought through all its 
battles, and who, in his old age, sat down, and gave in great 
detail, and with that genuine simplicity which is the seal of 
truth, a history of the whole of it ; one main purpose that 
he had being to correct the accounts of Gomara, which the 
clear-headed veteran deemed too favorable to Cortez, whose 
secretary G-omara was. Such a work, of course, stood di- 
rectly in the way of a person like Mr. Wilson, who, in order 
to maintain his theories about Mexico, was obliged to deny 
all the received accounts of that extraordinary event, and 
especially those of Bernal Diaz. After some consideration, 
he seems to have made up his mind that the cheapest and 


shortest way was to declare boldly that no such man had 
ever existed ; or, to use his own words, he " with much 
deliberation concluded to denounce Bernal Diaz as a myth." 

No doubt Mr. Wilson felt himself tolerably safe in this 
decisive assertion ; for, to most persons who are in the habit 
of reading Spanish books, hardly any thing is known of the 
sturdy old conquistador, except what he has himself told us : 
and this is testimony not to be accepted, when the very 
existence of the person is called in question ; for, if Bernal 
Diaz never lived, he can never have written the book that 
bears his name. 

But there is, happily, external testimony in the case, and 
enough of it. A fresh edition of the old chronicler's work 
was published at Madrid, in 1853, in the twenty-sixth volume 
of the " Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles," and was edited by 
Don Enrique de Yedia, a scholar who has heretofore interested 
himself in America and in American literature. In the pre- 
face to this edition, Don Enrique says, that, about the year 
1689, Don Francisco de Fuentes y Guzman wrote a " History 
of Guatemala," of which the first portion, in two manuscript 
volumes, was then before him (Don Enrique de Yedia) j that, 
in this history, Don Francisco de Fuentes says, with many 
expressions of affection, that Bernal Diaz was his great- 
grandfather, and that the original manuscript of his history 
of the conquest was still preserved ; and showed differences 
from the printed copy, especially in chaps, clxiv. and clxxi. 
These facts Mr. Wilson ought to have known ; for they were 
published to the world six years before he had the hardihood 
to assert that no such man as Bernal Diaz had ever existed. 

But this is not all. The Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg, a 
French gentleman of much learning, has been long interested 
in the traditions of savage life on this continent, and es- 
pecially those of its central portions. He was Professor at 
the Seminary of Quebec in 1845. In 1848, he went to 
Mexico, and became connected there with the French mission 


of Mons. Levasseur, and travelled much about the country 
and among the natives, studying their languages and manners, 
till 1851. From 1851 to 1854, he was in Paris and Rome, 
and made careful researches connected with his American 
studies ; and, from 1854 to the beginning of 1857, he was in 
Mexico again, and in G-uatamala, making fresh and more 
elaborate local investigations. This gentleman, thus qualified 
for his task, printed in Paris, in 1857 and 1858, the first three 
volumes, and, in this year (1859), the fourth and last, of his 
"Histoire des Nations Civilisees du Mexique et de PAmerique 
Centrale, durant les siecles anterieurs a Christophe Colomb," 
which he brings down, so far as the native Indians are 
concerned, to the completion of the Spanish conquest of 
Mexico. In this work, which is full of learning, drawn from 
original sources and unpublished materials, it is almost need- 
less to say that the Abbe de Bourbourg concurs with the 
accounts to which we have heretofore trusted, from the time 
of Cortes to that of Prescott; carrying his investigations, 
however, much more into detail than anybody has done 
before him. Still he is not satisfied ; and is now, probably, 
embarked anew for Mexico, in order to pursue still further 
the subject which has so long been with him not merely an 
earnest pursuit, but a passion. 

On his way to Mexico, the Abbe de Bourbourg lately 
passed through Boston, where we had already enjoyed the 
pleasure of seeing him in 1854. He stopped here only a 
very short time ; and we did not know he was in town until 
he called upon us the day before his departure. But we at 
once spoke to him of Mr. Wilson's book, which he had not 
seen, and gave him a copy of it ; desiring him, at the same 
time, to put on paper certain facts relating to Bernal Diaz, 
which he had mentioned in our conversation. The same 
evening he wrote us a note, which we received after he was 
gone, and from which the following is a translation of the 



portion relating to Bernal Diaz. It is dated, Boston, 25th 
April, 1859. 

" I have the honor to address you herewith what you asked of me 
this morning concerning Bernal Diaz. Not having my books or my 
notes at hand, I must content myself with putting down from memory 
what, at the moment, occurs to my recollection. 

" Bernal Diaz del Castillo was among the soldiers who landed 
with Cortes at Vera Cruz, and remained afterwards with him. His 
name appears in a great number of official Acts still extant. It was 
Bernal Diaz who stood sentinel at the entrance of the Spanish camp 
when the envoys from Cempoalla presented themselves there. In the 
legal process instituted against Cortes by his enemies, some years after 
the taking of Mexico, the name of Bernal Diaz appears as one of the 
witnesses for the defence. Later he is to be traced among the 
Spaniards who established themselves in Central America; and he 
was, for many years, Corregidor of the city of Guatemala. It was 
there that he wrote his History ; and the autograph manuscript, signed 
by his own hand, is carefully preserved by that municipality among its 
archives, where I have seen and examined it more than once. 

" His signature is often shown among the signatures of the members 
of the Cabildo [the Corporation] of Guatemala, whose records still 
exist. He died in that city, old, and complaining of his poverty." 

Our simple-hearted and picturesque chronicler, therefore, 
not only had a descendant, in the third generation, who was 
fondly attached to his ancestor's memory • but the autograph 
manuscript of his ancestor's remarkable book, and many of 
his autograph signatures to official documents, officially pre- 
served, have survived all the revolutions of the unhappy 
country, the affairs of whose capital city he long administered. 
This is certainly pretty well for " a myth. 11 

But, to be serious, an author who, like Mr. Wilson, makes 
the boldest assertions, and then is obliged to run for luck in 
order to find evidence that he may hope will support them ; 
who has so little fairness or judgment, as is shown by his 


treatment of Dr. Robertson, and so little knowledge or spirit 
of inquiry, as he has shown in the case of Bernal Diaz, — can 
really have no claim to the character of an historian. Still 
less has he the right to speak in any tone, except one of per- 
fect deference, when he mentions such names as those of 
Baron Humboldt and Mr. Prescott. 

A brief discussion was held with regard to the 
solemnization of marriages, in the early period of 
the history of New England, by magistrates, and not 
by clergymen. 

Mr. Savage stated that he had discovered no record 
of a marriage performed by a clergyman prior to 1686, 
except in Gorges' Province, by a clergyman of the 
Church of England. 

Mr. Brigham remarked, that there was no provision 
on the subject in general law in Massachusetts till 1647, 
and in Plymouth till 1671. 

Mr. Ellis referred to a passage in Milton's treatise 
of Christian doctrine, in which marriage is considered 
as a civil and not a religious rite. 

Mr. Aspinwall alluded to the Protestant principle, 
that marriage is not a sacrament. 

Mr. Winthrop quoted the following sentence from 
Winthrop's " History of New England : " — 

" 1647, 4, 4th day, 6th month. There was a great marriage 
to be solemnized at Boston. The bridegroom being of Hing- 
ham, Mr. Hubbard's church, he was procured to preach, and 
came to Boston to that end. But the magistrates, hearing of 
it, sent to him to forbear. The reasons were, 1. For that 
his spirit had been discovered to be averse to our eccle- 


siastical and civil government ; and he was a bold man, and 
would speak his mind. 2. We were not willing to bring in 
the English custom of ministers performing the solemnities 
of marriage, which sermons at such times might induce ; but 
if any ministers were present, and would bestow a word of 
exhortation, &c, it was permitted. 77 

Mr. Sibley exhibited a miniature, supposed to be of 
General Washington, in relation to which he read a 
letter which had been addressed to him by Dr. White, 
of Dedham. 

Dr. Frothingham remarked, that he had not been 
privileged to be present at the last meeting of the 
Society; which he much regretted, on account of its 
interesting transactions. Among his regrets at what 
he had lost, there had sprung into his mind the thought, 
that the very interesting event which had especially 
signalized that meeting admitted, and seemed to solicit, 
poetical treatment. He had yielded to the solicitation, 
and now ventured to offer what his Muse had permitted 
him to prepare : — 



Swords crossed, — but not in strife ! 
The chiefs who drew them, parted by the space 
Of two proud countries' quarrel, face to face 

Ne'er stood for death or life. 

Swords crossed, that never met 
While nerve was in the hands that Avielded them ; 
Hands better destined a fair family stem 

On these free shores to set. 


Kept crossed by gentlest bands ! 
Emblems no more of battle, but of peace ; 
And proofs how loves can grow and wars can cease, 

Their once stern symbol stands. 

It smiled first on the array 
Of marshalled books and friendliest companies ; 
And here, a history among histories, 

It still shall smile for aye. 

See that thou memory keep 
Of him, the firm commander ; and that other, 
The stainless judge; and him, our peerless brother, — 

All fallen now asleep. 

Yet more : a lesson teach, 
To cheer the patriot-soldier in his course, 
That Right shall triumph o'er insolent Force : 

That be your silent speech. 

Oh, be prophetic too ! 
And may those nations twain, as sign and seal 
Of endless amity, hang up their steel, 

As we these weapons do ! 

The archives of the Past, 
So smeared with blots of hate and bloody wrong, 
Pining for peace, and sick to wait so long, 

Hail this meek cross at last. 

Mr. Robbins presented to the Society a small but 
admirable portrait of Dr. John Lathrop, pastor of the 
Second Church in Boston from 1768 to 1816; a gift 
from our associate, Francis Parkman. 

Mr. Lothrop communicated a letter addressed to 
him by the Rev. John Waddington, Pastor of the Con- 
gregational Church, Union Street, Southwark, Eng., 


now in this country, and present at this meeting by 
special invitation, in relation to his purpose of raising 
a memorial church-edifice, in Southwark, from the joint 
contributions of the friends of religious freedom in 
England and America. 

On motion of Mr. Robbins, the communication of 
Mr. Waddington was referred to a Special Committee, 
consisting of Messrs. Lothrop, Blagden, and Quint. 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, May 12, at noon; the President, Hon. Robert 
C. Winthrop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the State of 
Connecticut; the State of Rhode Island; the Royal Society 
of Antiquaries ; the Smithsonian Institution; Tennessee 
'State Library; the Chicago Historical Society; the New- 
York Agricultural Society; the Trustees of the Peabody 
Institute; Union College, Schenectady; General De Pey- 
ster ; Winthrop Sargent, Esq. ; Richard Warren, Esq. ; 
Rev. Caleb D. Bradlee; L. A. Huguet Latour, Esq.; 
James Lenox, Esq. ; Henry B. Dawson, Esq. ; and from 
Messrs. Deane, Lamson, Quint, Robbins, Sibley, Wash- 
burn, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

The Cabinet-keeper announced several donations to 
the cabinet, amongst which is a bust of Voltaire in 

1859.] PROCEEDINGS. 287 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated letters 
from Henry D. Gilpin, Esq. ; William Durrant Cooper, 
E.S.A. ; and General William H. Sumner. 

The President communicated a letter from George 
H. Moore, Esq., Librarian of the New- York Historical 
Society, with a copy of the earliest "Plan of New York" 
known to be extant, and which bears a date more than 
thirty years earlier than any hitherto discovered. 

Hon. Kobert Hallowell Gardiner was elected an 
Honorary Member, Rev. Lord Arthur Hervey and 
Horatio Gates Somerby, Esq., Corresponding Mem- 
bers, and Hon. Joel Parker and Williams Latham, 
Esq., Resident Members, of the Society. 

The President nominated Messrs. Livermore, Robbins, 
and Deane a Committee on the subject of exchanges of 
the Society's publications, with full powers ; and they 
were so elected. 

Mr. Livermore announced the donation to the Society, 
from Amos A. Lawrence, Esq., of a large and very valu- 
able collection of manuscripts, rare historical pamphlets, 
and ancient newspapers ; being the collection of Major- 
General William Heath, and covering the entire period 
of the Revolutionary War. The manuscripts are chro- 
nologically arranged, and bound in twenty-six volumes, 
besides two volumes of orderly-books. They contain 
letters from John Adams, Samuel Adams, Benedict Ar- 
nold, Governor Bowdoin, General Burgoyne, Governor 
Clinton, General Clinton, Baron De Kalb, Judge Dana, 
Elbridge Gerry, General Gates, General Greene, John 
Hancock, Alexander Hamilton, Kosciusko, General 
Knox, General Lincoln, General Lee, Lafayette, Timothy 


Pickering, Colonel Prescott, General Putnam, Paul Re- 
vere, General Schuyler, Lord Stirling, Baron Steuben, 
Charles Thompson, Colonel Trumbull, General Wayne, 
and from other distinguished persons in civil or military 
service at that period, including several hundred letters 
of Washington. 

The pamphlets are bound in six volumes, and the 
newspapers in eleven volumes, printed between the 
years 1764 and 1818. 

The donation was accompanied by the following 
letter : — 

Sewall's Point, May 9, 1859. 

My dear Sir, — The first knowledge I obtained of the 
Heath Papers was from Mr. Sparks, who had inspected them 
in writing his ''Life of Washington." This was in 1837. 
After considerable delay, and hesitation on the part of the 
heirs of General Heath, I obtained them during the next year, 
upon condition that " they should never be separated." 

In so large a collection of letters and papers, only a small 
proportion can be supposed to possess any historical value; 
but, taken together, they will be found to convey a more ac- 
curate knowledge of the manner in which the operations of 
the Revolutionary War were carried on, and of the means em- 
ployed, than can be derived from the perusal of more formal 

When first purchased, the papers were in chests, without 
order. After arranging them chronologically, I had them 
bound, and added an index of the letters to each volume. 

It affords me pleasure to present them, through you, to the 

Massachusetts Historical Society, imposing only the condition 

made by those from whom they were received. With great 

regard, your obedient servant, 

Amos A. Lawrence. 
George Livermore, Esq., Cambridge. 


Memorandum of Books. 

1. Two volumes of orderly-books, containing a record of orders 

given, and of transactions in camp, between 1776 and 1783. 

2. Twenty-six volumes of letters, — official and other papers. 

3. Six volumes of pamphlets. 

2. Eleven volumes of newspapers printed between 1764 and 1818. 
Forty-five volumes in all. Also a copy of the indices. 

Mr. Sparks congratulated the Society on their coming 
into possession, through the considerate liberality of 
Mr. Lawrence, of this important collection. He stated 
that he had personally examined the papers some years 
ago, before they had been arranged in their present ex- 
cellent order. The manuscripts covered the entire 
period of the Revolutionary War, during the whole of 
which General Heath was in the service of his country ; 
and they were, many of them, of great value to the 
student of American history. He proceeded to give a 
sketch of the military career of the General, from its 
commencement in the time of the Stamp Act to its close; 
and paid a discriminating tribute to his merits as a 
soldier and a man. 

With a view of showing the opinion which General 
Washington entertained of the services of General 
Heath, and the sentiments with which he regarded 
him, Mr. Sparks read the following letter : — 

Head Quarters, June 24, 1783. 

Dear Sir, — Previous to your departure from the army, I 
wish to take an opportunity of expressing my sentiments of 
your services, my obligations for your assistance, and my 
wishes for your future felicity. 



Our object is at last attained, the arrangements are almost 
completed, and the day of separation is now at hand. Per- 
mit me, therefore, to thank you for the trouble you have 
lately taken in the arrangement of the corps under your 
orders, as well as for all your former cheerful and able exer- 
tions in the public service. 

Suffer me to offer this last testimony of my regard to your 
merits ; and give me leave, my dear sir, to assure you of the 
real affection and esteem with which I am, and shall at all 
times and under all circumstances continue to be, 

Your sincere friend and very humble servant, 

George Washington. 
Major-General Heath. 

In closing his remarks, Mr. Sparks offered the follow- 
ing resolution ; viz. : — 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be communicated 
to Amos A. Lawrence, Esq., for this most acceptable and valua- 
ble donation of the papers of the late Major-General Heath ; 
and that the President be requested to assure him, that the 
Society appreciate this gratifying manifestation of his inte- 
rest in the important objects for which it was established. 

Mr. R. Frothingham, jun., on seconding the resolu- 
tion, referred particularly to the special value of this 
collection in supplying materials, in detail, for the con- 
struction of accurate narrative. At the request of the 
Standing Committee, he had partially examined this col- 
lection. Much of it was in itself of great historical 
value; but here, in names, dates, and varied minutiae, 
were the most authentic material for life-like narratives 
of Revolutionary scenes. 

It would be impossible to do any thing like justice to 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS. 291 

this invaluable collection by a brief description : but it 
might be appropriate to the occasion of their reception to 
designate a few of the papers ; and, for this purpose, Mr. 
Frothingham selected the first volume of the manu- 

The first document in the collection is of a peculiar 
character, as it relates to the celebrated Suffolk Conven- 
tion of 1774: — 

Roxbury, Aug. 18, 1774. 
Gentlemen, — A meeting of gentlemen from every town 
and district in the county of Suffolk, except Weymouth, Cohas- 
set, Needham, and Chelsea, was held at Colonel Doty's, in 
Stoughton, on Tuesday, the 16th current, to consult what 
measures were proper to be taken by the people of the county 
at this most important and alarming crisis of our public affairs. 
But, as several towns had not appointed delegates for the 
special purposes of a county meeting, they did not think pro- 
per to proceed to complete the business proposed; but, in 
order that the proceedings of such a meeting might be more 
valid and authentic, they came unanimously into the following 
resolve, and appointed a Committee to transmit the same to 
every town and district in the county ; viz. : — 

" Whereas it appears to us that the Parliament of Great Britain, in 
violation of the faith of the nation, have, in direct infraction of the 
Charter of this Province, contrary to Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, 
and the natural constitutional claim of British subjects, by an Act called 
the Boston Port Bill, a Bill for amending the Charter of the Province, 
and another for the Impartial Administration of Justice, with all the 
parade and ostentation of law and justice, attempted to reduce this 
Colony to an unparalleled state of slavery ; and whereas the several 
Colonies on this continent, being justly and properly alarmed with this 
lawless and tyrannical exertion of power, have entered into combina- 
tions for our relief, and published sundry resolutions, which we are 
determined to abide by in support of common interest: — 


" We earnestly recommend to our brethren of the several towns and 
districts in this county to appoint members to attend a county conven- 
tion for Suffolk, at the house of Mr. Woodward, innholder, in Dedham, 
on Tuesday, the sixth day of September next, at ten o'clock, before 
noon, to deliberate and determine upon all such matters as the dis- 
tressed circumstance of this Province may require. We therefore 
transmit the same to you, to be laid before your town, to act thereon 
as you may think proper ; and we beg leave to add our request, that 
the gentlemen who may be chosen by your town would be very punc- 
tual to the hour proposed for the convention, as it [is] very probable 
the business will take up the rest of that day. 

" We are your humble servant, by order of Committee, 

" Nath. Patten. 

" To the Gentlemen Selectmen for the town of Roxbury." 

An abstract only of the following interesting paper 
appears in Heath's "Memoirs," where it is stated that this 
report was made on the 20th of March, 1775. There is 
no record of the presentation of this paper in the jour- 
nals of the Provincial Congress, which adjourned on the 
sixteenth day of February and re-assembled on the twenty- 
second day of March : * — 

The Committee appointed to make a minute inquiry into 
the present state of the operations of the (British) army have 
attended that service, and report the following state of facts ; 
viz. : — 

The army at present consists of about 2850 men, encamped 
as follows : — 

On Boston Common, about 1700 

On Fort Hill 400 

On Boston Neck 340 

In the barracks at Castle William 330 

Quartered in King Street 80 

* Journals of Provincial Congress, p. 109. 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS.. 293 

That two mud breastworks have been erected by them on 
Boston Neck, at the distance of about ninety or one hundred 
rods in front of the old fortification; the works well con- 
structed and well executed. The thickness of the merlons, 
or parapet, about nine feet ; the height, about eight feet. The 
width of the ditch at the top, about twelve feet; at the bottom, 
five feet ; the depth, ten feet. These works are nearly com- 
pleted, and at present mounted with ten brass and two iron 
cannon. A barrack is erecting behind the breastwork, on the 
north side of the Neck. 

The old fortification at the entrance of the town of Boston 
is repairing, and greatly strengthened by the addition of tim- 
ber and earth to the walls, of the thickness of about twelve 
feet. These works are in considerable forwardness ; and, at 
present, ten pieces of iron cannon are mounted on the old 
platforms. A blockhouse, brought from Governor's Island, is 
erecting on the south side of the Neck, at the distance of about 
forty or fifty rods from the old fortification. This work is but 
just begun. 

That, on the 18th instant, colors were planted, and after- 
wards stakes put down, near the salt-pond (so called), on Boston 
Neck, in a parallel line from the dike on the south side to the 
dike on the north side of the Neck ; but that, on the night 
following, the stakes were taken away by some person or 
persons unknown. This, as a major of one of the regiments 
declared, was for no other purpose than to make some observa- 
tions and to ascertain some distances. 

That on the morning of yesterday, being the 19th instant, 
it was reported that a standard was erected on a hill on Dor- 
chester side, opposite to the old fortification, which alarmed 
the inhabitants of the town of Boston ; upon which, several 
gentlemen went over, and found the mast of a small boat 
erected, with an old two-bushel bag thereon, which they 
instantly cut down. On which, an officer came from the 
schooner stationed in the bay, and demanded the reason for 


striking said flag-staff. He was informed by the gentlemen, 
that as they knew not who erected it, and as it gave uneasi- 
ness to the town, they had done it. To which the officer 
replied, that he was extremely sorry ; that it was erected for 
them to take some particular marks at high water ; and hoisted 
it again, saying he would see that it was struck in about two 
hours ; which was done accordingly. 

The distance from the old fortification across the bay to 
Dorchester side is about three-quarters of a mile ; from the 
water's edge to the place where the staff was erected, about 
two hundred yards. 

March 20, 1775. 

The following memorandum relative to the day of 
Lexington and Concord contains matter not in the rela- 
tion of the same general facts in the " Memoirs of 
Heath," p. 14: — 

In this battle, I was several times greatly exposed ; in 
particular, at the high grounds at the upper end of Menotomy, 
and also on the plain below the meeting-house : on the latter, 
Dr. Joseph Warren, — afterwards Major-General Warren, — 
who kept constantly near me, and then but a few feet distant, 
a musket-ball from the enemy came so near his head as to 
strike the pin out of the hair of his ear-lock. On this plain, 
Dr. Eliphalet Downer, in single combat with a British 
soldier, killed him on the spot by thrusting him nearly through 
the body with his bayonet. 

The following portion of a journal, which was kept 
during the siege of Boston, contains particulars not con- 
tained in the printed memoirs : — 

Journal of Some Occurrences in the Gamp at Roxbury. 

1775, June 24. — Several works completing fast on Roxbury side ; 
viz., one on the eminence above the Workhouse, one by the Tide Mill, 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS.. 295 

and a traverse in Roxbury Street. At noon, while at dinner, a heavy- 
fire from the cannon and mortars at the lines on Boston Neck ; but no 
damage done. A number of cannon-shot and several carcasses brought 
in. Two soldiers, attempting to set fire, to Mr. Brown's barn, were 
killed by the British. A cannon, discharged seven times by Major 
Crane, drove the regulars from Brown's house precipitately. In the 
evening, two heavy cannon brought to the works on the Workhouse Hill. 

25. — General officers went to reconnoitre the ground in Brookline, 
near Charles River ; ordered another traverse to be thrown up near the 
burying-ground in Roxbury Street. This night, some soldiers of our 
army went down, and fired on the guard in Brown's house ; which was 
returned. [The intension was to burn the house; which could not 
be effected. 

26. — This morning, about daybreak, a party of regulars advanced 
on our sentries, who gave them a fire ; which they returned. Part of 
the picket turned out. The regulars retreated. None killed or wounded. 
Towards evening, several cannon-shot were exchanged ; but no damage 

27. — A redoubt opened by Colonel Greaton at Dorchester Neck, 
on this side the causeway. About noon, three cannon were fired from 
the lines at the workmen ; but the shot fell short. 

28. — Nothing extraordinary happened. Works go on briskly. 
An American soldier drummed through the camp for defaming the 

1775, July 20. — Being Fast Day, the same was most strictly ob- 
served by the army. No fatigue, and all still in camp. 

21. — Major Vose, having returned from his expedition to Nantasket, 
reports that they took off about a thousand bushels of barley on Wednes- 
day and yesterday, besides all the hay. They also burnt the light- 
house, took away eight lamps, three casks of oil, about half a barrel of 
gunpowder. Three boats they brought away, and one they burnt. 
They also burnt a barn on the Brewster, and set fire to the standing' 
grass, which burnt all over the island. Four fishermen were also 
taken. The enemy's armed schooner and cutter, with a number of 
boats, engaged our men for some time. However, through kind Pro- 
vidence], but two of our men were slightly wounded, and none killed. 
Nothing further very material this day. Two brigs sailed out of the 
harbor just at evening, &c. 

22. — Nothing extraordinary, save the general order for forming the 
army into brigades ; in which I am ordered to Cambridge. In the after- 
noon, went to Cambridge to wait upon General Washington. 


23. — Lord's Day. Nothing extraordinary. All still and quiet. 

24. — Went to Cambridge in order to get quarters. This day, ten 
or eleven sail of ships sailed out of Boston Harbor, several of which 
were men-of-war. 

25. — Mr. John Williams and an officer being on the marsh, two 
cannon were fired at them from the lines. This day, General Ward 
came to Roxbury to command the seven companies. 

26. — My regiment marched for Cambridge. A deserter came into 
Cambridge camp last night. 

27. — A deserter came into Roxbury camp this morning. 

28. — Very rainy, and but little work done in Cambridge camp. 

29. — The enemy forming a bomb-battery yesterday and to-day at 
Bunker's Hill ; and, this evening, is reported that they have advanced 
beyond their line, are cutting down trees, fences, &c. 

The following extracts from the papers of this period 
supply illustrations of the character of much of the mat- 
ter in the collection, and also interesting facts relative to 
the siege of Boston : — 

Major Tupper wants Lieutenant Shaw, that formerly lived 
on Governor's Island, for a pilot on a certain expedition. The 
major thinks he is of Captain Gould's company, in General 
Heath's regiment. We shall embark at Squantum, six o'clock 
this evening. 

Pray keep it secret. B. Tupper. 

Sept. 26. 

Oct. 19, 1775. 
A Return of the Picket-guard last Night at Lechmere's Point. 

Officers : Captain Williams, Lieutenant Foster, of General 
Heath's regiment; two sergeants, two corporals, forty rank 
and file. Nothing remarkable happened. 

Cambridge, Saturday afternoon, 
Oct. 21, 1775. 

Sir, — I am this moment informed by the Eev. Mr. 
Foster, chaplain to Colonel Scammon's regiment, that one 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS- 297 

Mr. Page, an Episcopalian minister, is taking plans of all our 
works ; that he was yesterday viewing the works at Roxbury, 
in order to correct his plans ; that he acquainted the Rev. 
Mr. Belknap, who is now in Cambridge, that he was going for 
England, and by those plans would strive to convince my 
Lord Dartmouth that we were too strong to be taken. Whether 
this was before known to your excellency or not, I cannot tell : 
but I thought it my duty to acquaint your excellency with it ; 
and am, with the greatest respect, 

Your excellency's most obedient 

And very humble servant, 

W. Heath. 
His Excellency General Washington. 

Oct. 23. 

In the evening, between six and seven o'clock, received a 
picket-guard of forty men, Lieutenant Sumner, Sergeants 
Jackson and Whitting, and Corporal Pratt. Marched on 
Lechmere's Point. There set thirteen sentries, and had two 
relieves. Nothing extraordinary happened. Came off at gun- 
firing in the morning. 

Joseph Guild, Captain. 

A Return of the Lechmere-Point Guard, 25th October, 1775. 

Captain, one ; lieutenant, one ; sergeants, tAvo ; corporals, 
two ; privates, forty. Out of the above forty privates were 
thirteen sentries ; and, about eleven o'clock, I discovered a 
firing of small arms on Charlestown Neck (which caused the 
enemy to beat to arms), which continued about fifteen minutes, 
and then ceased. Also, about two o'clock this morning, I 
discovered a firing, which appeared to me to be on Chelsea 

William Wyman, Captain. 

To the Officer of the Day 

for the 26th of October, 1775. 



General Heath's compliments to General Putnam, and ac- 
quaints him that the works at No. 2 are in a dangerous condi- 
tion ; and submits it to his superior wisdom, whether it be best 
to complete the new works, or repair those which are not 

Friday Morning, Oct. 27. 

Cambridge Camp, Oct. 29, 1775. 

I, Charles Cushing, captain in the 36th regiment of foot, 
commanded by John Greaton, colonel, took command of a 
picket-guard on the 28th instant, at night, — consisting of one 
captain, one subaltern, one sergeant, two corporals, and forty 
privates and one drum and fife, — to go to Lechmere's Point, 
and made no discovery for that night : and nothing extraor- 
dinary happened, except one man's accidentally falling into a 
deep well, and wounded his head ; it being very dark, and 

stormy weather. 

Chas. Cushing, Captain. 
To the Hon. Brigadier-General Heath. 

A Report of the Guards in General HeaiKs Brigade ; viz. : — 

At No. 1 : one lieutenant, one sergeant, twenty-five rank 
and file. Sentries by day, six ; and six by night. 

At No. 2 : one lieutenant, one sergeant, thirty-six rank and 
file. Sentries by day, ten ; and ten by night. One prisoner 
— 'Ephraim Potter, of the train, confined by Captain Gridley 
for disobedience of orders — four nights confined. 

A Report of Colonel Phiney's Guard ; viz. : — 
No prisoners. No other sort of return being made to me. 

A Report of Captain HilVs Guard ; viz. : — 

One sergeant, twelve privates. Sentries by day, three ; 
and by night, three. Nothing extraordinary since guard- 
mounting, only very rainy. The last night dark. 

James Scamman, 
Cambridge, at No. 1, Oct. 29, 1775. Officer of the Day. 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS.. 291) 

Camp at Roxbury, Nov. 20, 1775. 

Sir, — In consequence of General Gates's letter yesterday, 
I have taken care to order a strict watch of the harbor, and 
all vessels that may arrive, whether they appear to be trans- 
ports or provision vessels. 

I have sent to Colonel Ward at Dorchester, who is in 
great need of a glass, and renews his request that the glass 
which was carried away by Colonel Greaton's regiment might 
be returned, as it will be of more service there than anywhere 
else. It belongs to an infamous Tory in Boston, who fled to 
said place for protection. Captain Yane, who, I am informed, 
has got the glass (although unwilling to own it), gave his 
receipt for it (as is reported), and pretends to claim it there- 
from. Colonel Ward says he will give his receipt for it : and, 
as it is circumstanced, I think your excellency has a right to 
order it to the place where it will be most serviceable ; and 
submit it to your excellency to judge which place it ought to 
be at. 

I am your excellency's most humble servant, 

Artemas Ward. 
His Excellency General Washington. 

Visited the guards on yesterday. Found them in good 
order. Ordered grand rounds to begin their round at eleven, 
visiting rounds at half-past three. Patrols as usual. The 
grand rounds report to have found the guards vigilant, and 
sentinels very alert. Field-officer at Lechmere's Point reports 
that the enemy were very busy yesterday loading of boats at 
Charlestown Ferry, and carrying the contents thereof on 
board several vessels which lay near by. Half-past four 
o'clock in the afternoon, part of seven or eight ammunition- 
wagons, many of which broke and cut, drove on shore at 
Lechmere's Point ; likewise the bodies of several carts, empty 
barrels, many pieces of boards, timber, &c. The wagons 
committed to the charge of the relieving officer. At half-past 


seven o'clock in the evening, the enemy began a smart can- 
nonade at our works at Dorchester, which continued until six 
o'clock this morning, and were frequently answered from our 

W. Heath, 
Brigadier- General of the Day. 
To His Excellency General Washington. 

Camp at Cambridge, Dec. 28, 1775. 
Sir, — A resolution having been taken to surprise a part of 
the enemy's camp this night, soon after the setting of the 
moon ; and as numbers of officers and others, from mere curio- 
sity, may be led to Cobble Hill in order to be spectators, — 
by means of which, from a more than common challenging 
by the sentinels as they approach the hill, the enemy may be 
apprised of something uncommon, and of course the attempt 
be defeated, — if you have not therefore received any special 
orders from any of my superior officers in this division — to 
wit, either from his Excellency General Washington or Gene- 
ral Putnam — to the contrary, you will immediately send two 
sentinels up to the road at the head of the path leading to 
Cobble Hill, there to challenge and stop any and all persons 
going on to the hill, until the party has marched and the 
attack begun, except general officers or aide-de-camp charged 
with orders ; and, when the party for attack shall advance, 
they are to pass, and all your sentinels as secretly as possible 
to be called in, and so to remain until the party returns. 
I am, sir, yours, &c, 

W. Heath, Brigadier -General. 
To the Officer commanding at Cobble Hill. 

Camp at Cambridge, Feb. 10, 1776. 
Orders to be observed by the Commanding Officer and Guard at Lech- 
mere's Point. 
Sentinels by day, three ; by night, eleven. The sentinels, 
except at the guard-house, to be two on each post during the 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS. 301 

night ; to be very alert ; and upon the discovery or approach 
of the enemy, or on hearing the marching of men, rowing of 
boats, or any other uncommon noise, one of them at the post 
where the discovery is made is immediately to give notice to 
the commanding officer of the guard, whilst the other remains 
on his post carefully to listen to the noise or watch the mo- 
tions of the enemy. 

Upon notice being given to the commanding officer (unless 
it be such as to warrant an immediate alarm), he will send an 
intelligent sergeant with a party to reconnoitre the enemy, 
or to be satisfied with respect to the noise which was heard. 
The guard will immediately turn out, and man the works at 
the guard-house. If, upon return of the sergeant, the ground 
for alarm is confirmed, the commanding officer will with all 
speed send the intelligence he has received to the brigadier- 
general. Should the enemy advance near the sentinels' post, 
they will fire their pieces, take care not to be surrounded by 
the enemy, and join their guard. The commanding officer 
will order an alarm to be fired. Make an obstinate resistance 
if the enemy advances, and may expect succor immediately. 
These orders to be observed until countermanded. 

W. Heath, Brigadier-General. 

Went the grand rounds between the hours of half after 
eleven o'clock, and half after two o'clock in the morning, and 
found the several guards all very alert. About eleven o'clock, 
a bombardment and cannonading began on our side, which 
was soon answered by the enemy, two for one. The shells 
thrown from Lechmere's Point, according to the best of my 
judgment, fell near Faneuil Hall, in the besieged town of Bos- 
ton. The cannon and mortars at the same time played at 
Roxbury ; but, from appearance, never reached the town of 
Boston. Just at daybreak, at the point at New Boston, a 
shell from a thirteen-inch mortar fell within the citadel on 
Prospect Hill, upon a platform on which stood one of our 


twelve-pounders ; went through it, and burst, without injuring 

the cannon or a single person within the citadel, notwithstand- 

the same was full of our people then there at their alarm 


Dan. Hitchcock, 

Field-officer of the Day. 
To Brigadier- General Heath. 

Visited the guards yesterday afternoon. Found them in 
good order, but some of them deficient in their number, occa- 
sioned by the extraordinary draughts from some of the brigade. 
I gave orders for the grand rounds at eleven, visiting rounds 
at three, patrols between each relief. The guards in the out- 
post were re-enforced in the evening. Officers of the day 
report, that, in the night, they found the guards vigilant and 
sentinels alert. Six sentinels from the enemy on Bunker's 
Hill were posted last night at Charlestown Neck, at the place 
where their advance guard was posted the last fall. Embra- 
sures were also opening yesterday in the parapet on Bunker's 
Hill next to Mystic Kiver. Several of the enemy were seen 
yesterday afternoon on Noddle's Island, who appeared to be 
admeasuring or laying out a work. 

W. Heath, Brigadier- General. 
To His Excellency General Washington. 

Report of the Several Guards in Major - General Lee's Division. 


Visited the sentries, according to orders, between every 
relief, and found them alert at their posts. Received the 
general of the day between twelve and one o'clock at noon ; 
and the grand rounds, one at night. N.B. — Observed the 
enemy move one or two pieces of artillery from Bunker's Hill 
to the Ferry ; also one ammunition-wagon. During the 
night, there appeared to be great motion of carriages in 


James Collins, Major, 

Field-officer for Gobble Hill. 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS. 303 


Went the rounds as usual, and found all well. Received 

the grand rounds between the hours of twelve and one 


Benja. Farnum, 

Captain Main Guard. 


No powder delivered out, nor any received into the maga- 

Thomas Prichard, Ensign, 

Officer of the Guard. 


Additional picket at night : captain, one ; subaltern, one ; 
sergeant, one ; corporal, one ; privates, forty-eight. Nothing 
extraordinary happened. Yisited by the grand rounds. 

Thomas Nixon, 

Officer of the Picket. 


Visited the sentinels by day. Went the visiting rounds at 
four o'clock. Sent the patrols every hour to visit the senti- 
nels ; found them alert on their posts. Nothing remarkable 

happened during my tour of duty. 

pr. Jno. Drew, 

Captain Main Guard. 


Patrols went as usual, and found all alert. Received the 

grand rounds about twelve. The enemy worked all night. 

At four o'clock, the bells rang in Boston, and a number of 

muskets fired. 

Danl. Egery, Captain. 

Went the grand rounds between eleven and one o'clock at 

night, and found most of the guard very alert. Observed 

nothing extraordinary. 

Dan. Hitchcock, 

Field-officer of the Day. 
To Brigadier-General Heath. 


Yisited the guards on yesterday before noon ; found them 
in good order. Ordered grand rounds at eleven ; visiting 
rounds at half-past three, and patrols between each relief. 
Grand rounds report that they found the guards vigilant and 
sentinels alert. Captain of the White-house Guard reports 
that the enemy worked all night ; that, at four o'clock this 
morning, the bells rang in Boston, and a number of muskets 
were fired. Field-officer at Cobble Hill reports that the ene- 
my moved one or two pieces of artillery from Bunker's Hill 
to the Ferry, also one ammunition-wagon ; and that, during 
the night, there was great motion of carriages in Boston. 
Officer of the day in the centre division reports, that, when 
going his grand rounds, he heard great noise of carriages in 
Boston, and frequent firing of small-arms, &c. 

General orders: That no soldier leave the guard with- 
out the liberty of his commanding officer. All sentries are to 
be very silent on their post. The sentries at the wood-yard 
are not to have the countersign, and but one to be absent at 
a time from the guard. The officers to attend the guard 


James Stedman, 

Captain of the Main Guard. 
To the Officer of the Day, March 12, 1776. 

The enemy very busy loading of boats at Charlestown 
Ferry, and carrying the contents thereof on board several 
vessels which lay near by. Half-past four o'clock in the after- 
noon, part of seven or eight ammunition-wagons, many of 
which broke and cut, drove on shore at Lechmere's Point ; 
likewise the bodies of several carts, empty barrels, many 
pieces of boards and timber, &c. The ammunition-wagons 
and carts being the most valuable, have committed to the 
charge of the officer which relieved me. At half-past seven 
o'clock in the evening, the enemy began a smart cannonading 
at our lines at Dorchester, which continued till six o'clock the 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS. .305 

next morning, and were frequently answered from our lines 

at Dorchester. 

No grand rounds. 

Hy. Sherburne, Major 15th Regiment, 

Commanding Officer at Lechmere's Point. 

To Colonel Greaton, Officer of the Day. 

As an illustration of the interesting character of much 
of the correspondence, Mr. Frothingham named the 
letters that passed between the parties on the occasion 
of the collision between Generals Heath and Lee in 1776. 
The following is the letter referred to in Heath's " Me- 
moirs," p. 92, which on this occasion General Heath 
wrote to the commander-in-chief: — 

Peekskill, Nov. 24, 1776. 

Dear General, — I some days since presented to your 
excellency the disposition of the troops at this post. I have 
not as yet received your excellency's express approval or dis- 
approbation. I am endeavoring to complete the business your 
excellency assigned to me, as fast as possible. 

On the 21st instant, I received a letter from General Lee ; 
a copy of which is enclosed. I returned him for answer, that 
my division was posted at important passes, and, with such 
positive and pressing instructions from your excellency, that 
I dare not remove them without your excellency's express 
orders ; which was also the opinion of my brigadier-generals, 
that it would be extremely hazardous. The last evening, I 
received another letter from him, which I also enclose. It 
needs no comment. I still conceive myself strictly bound by 
your excellency's instructions, and that the importance of this 
post is enhanced by the enemy's having got the possession of 
Fort Lee, and thereby secured to themselves the entire navi- 
gation of Hudson's River up to this place. Should the num- 
ber of troops mentioned by General Lee be drawn from this 



post, there would not be more than four hundred men, ex- 
clusive of the garrisons of the forts, left on this side the 
river. I consider myself as accountable for the post, being so 
expressly instructed by your excellency ; and shall most 
strictly adhere to them until countermanded by your excel- 
lency's orders, or a signification of your excellency's pleasure 
that I am to obey such orders as I shall receive from some 
other my senior officer ; which alone, I think, can warrant a 
departure from my instructions. I wish to know your excel- 
lency's pleasure as soon as agreeable to you, as it may prevent 
altercation and confusion. I beg leave also to acquaint your 
excellency, that the time to which the garrisons of Fort Mont- 
gomery and Constitution are engaged expires (except as to 
three hundred and twenty-eight privates) in six days, as does 
that of General Scott's whole brigade and Colonel Tashe's 

I cannot conclude without observing, that General Lee, in 
his first letter to me, mentions that he has received a recom- 
mendation, not a positive order, to move the corps under his 
command to the other side of the river ; and yet, although he 
did not think it obligatory on himself, in his second letter he 
positively orders me to hold two thousand of my division in 
readiness to march with him across the river, directly con- 
trary to my instructions, extracts of which I had furnished 
him with. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

Your excellency's most humble servant, 

W. Heath. 
His Excellency General Washington. 

The following remarkable letter does not appear to 
be referred to in Heath's " Memoirs : " — 

Camp Philipsburg, Nov. 26, 1776. 
Sir, — I perceive that you have formed an opinion to your- 
self, that, should General Washington remove to the Straits 

1859.] THE HEATH PAPERS, 307 

of Magellan, the instructions he left with you upon a particu- 
lar occasion have to all intents and purposes invested you with 
a command separate from, and independent of, any other supe- 
rior ; that General Heath and General Lee are merely two 
major-generals, who perhaps ought to hold a friendly inter- 
course with each other, and, when their humor or fancied 
interest prompts, may afford mutual assistance ; but that 
General Heath is by no means to consider himself obliged to 
obey any orders of the second in command. This idea of 
yours, sir, may not only be prejudicial to yourself, but to the 
public. I could wish, sir, before things go any further, you 
would correct the notion. I enjoined you to send two thou- 
sand men over the river, and informed you that I would 
replace them with an equal number. This was the only mode 
in my power of complying with the intentions of the 
general: but it seems your danger was so immense and 
your instructions so positive, that, instead of taking a step 
which both duty and common sense dictated, you are so 
kind as to advise me to send the troops from hence ; the two- 
days' march from hence to Peekskill, and the want of wagons, 
with the badness of the roads, making no sort of difference. 
But I must inform you, sir, that we could not have been (such 
are our circumstances) in less than five days at Peekskill; 
and that five days may turn the fate of an empire. If any 
misfortune should happen from this refusal, you must answer 
for it. If any misfortune had happened to your present post 
by the detachment of those two thousand men from your 
corps, the blame would have fallen upon me. But enough 
on this subject. I shall therefore conclude, that the com- 
mander-in-chief is now separated from us ; that I, of course, 
command on this side the water ; that, for the future, I will 
and must be obeyed. 

I am, sir, your most obedient servant, 

Charles Lee. 
To Major-General Heath, Peekskill. 


Mr. Frothingham, in conclusion, complimented the 
donor on the service he had rendered to the cause of 
historical inquiry by making the Society the depository 
of this invaluable collection. 

The resolution offered by Mr. Sparks was unanimous- 
ly adopted. 

Mr. Livermore presented from Mrs. Abbott Lawrence 
an engraved portrait of her late husband, Hon. Abbott 
Lawrence, executed by Holl, of London, from a picture 
painted by Harding. 

On motion of Mr. Washburn, it was unanimously 
Voted, That the thanks of the Society be tendered to 
Mrs. Abbott Lawrence for her gift of an engraving of 
her late husband, the Hon. Abbott Lawrence, which will 
t serve as a pleasing additional memorial of one whom 
they recall as a valued associate ; and that the President 
be requested to communicate this vote to Mrs. Law- 

The Special Committee on the communication of Rev. 
Mr. Waddington of England, which was read by Mr. 
Lothrop at the last meeting, presented a report pro- 
posing a plan for aiding Mr. Waddington to bring the 
object of his mission to America properly and fairly 
before the public. The report was accepted; and Messrs. 
Warren and Washburn were added to the Special Com- 
mittee to carry into effect the plan suggested. 

1859.] PROCEEDINGS. 300 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, June 9, at noon, in the Dowse Library ; the 
President, Hon. Robert C. Winthjlop, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Depart- 
ment of State of the United States ; the Secretary of 
State of Massachusetts ; the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety ; the American Oriental Society ; the Chamber of 
Commerce, New York; the Chicago Historical Society; 
Union College ; J. L. Baker, Esq. ; Rev. Charles E. 
Leverett; Count Jules de Menou; John Wilson and 
Son ; J. R. Thompson, Esq. ; Rev. S. Saltmarsh ; A. J. 
Coolidge, Esq.; S. A. Green, M.D.; Rev. E. M. Stone; 
J. G. R. Farrington, Esq. ; George H. Moore, Esq. ; and 
from Messrs. Dana, Everett, Felton, R. Erothingham, 
jun., Robbins, Savage, Sibley, Webb, and Winthrop, of 
the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated an ac- 
knowledgment, from the Historical Society of New 
Jersey, of the reception of the volume of Proceedings 
which had been presented to them by this Society, and 
their thanks for the gift. The same officer also read 
letters of acceptance from W T illiams Latham, Esq., as a 
Resident, and from H. G. Somerby, Esq., as a Corre- 
sponding Member. 

The President communicated a letter from Joseph 
Romilly, Esq., dated Cambridge, Eng., 2d May, 1859, 
returning thanks to the Society for a copy of the " Pro- 
ceedings in Memory of Prescott." 


The President called the attention of the Society to a 
valuable donation recently received from their Honorary 
Member, Count Jules de Menou ; being a collection of 
maps in one large volume, entitled " Atlas des Colonies 
Angloises en Amerique." 

On motion of Mr. Everett, — who offered a few re- 
marks in relation to the value of the maps, and the claims 
of the aged donor to respectful and kindly regard in this 
country, — the following vote was unanimously passed; 
viz. : — 

Voted, That the thanks of the Massachusetts His- 
torical Society be tendered to their esteemed foreign 
Honorary Member, Count Jules de Menou, for his very 
valuable contribution to the archives of the Society. 

Hon. Charles Hudson of Lexington and Rev. Ro- 
bert C. Waterston of Boston were elected Resident 
Members, and George H. Moore, Esq., of New York, 
a Corresponding Member, of this Society. 

The President presented to the Society, from his step- 
son, George Derby Welles, a collection of United-States 
cents in a glass case, — the coinage of each year from 
1793 to 1857. Whereupon the following vote, offered 
by Mr. Washburn, was unanimously adopted ; viz. : — 

Voted, That the Massachusetts Historical Society are 
happy to acknowledge the valuable and interesting gift 
of a collection of American copper coinage from 1793 
to 1857, which they have this day received from their 
young patron and friend, George Derby Welles; and that 
the Secretary be requested to communicate this vote. 

The President communicated the following letter, 
addressed to him by William C. Rives, jun., Esq., accom- 


panying a plaster cast, recently taken from a marble 
medallion likeness of President Madison, in the posses- 
sion of J. C. McGuire, Esq. : — 

43, Beacon Street, May 21, 1859. 
Dear Sir, — I received a few days ago, from Mr. J. C. 
McGuire of Washington, a plaster cast, recently taken from 
a marble medallion likeness in his possession, of President 
James Madison. The original medallion was executed in 
1792 by Ceracchi, a pupil of Canova, and a sculptor of no 
little celebrity in his day. Mr. McGuire, thinking that the 
faithful cast of the original is not without historical interest, 
has requested me to have it framed at his expense, and to 
offer it through you, in his behalf, to the Historical Society of 
Massachusetts. I have so far complied with his request as to 
order it to be suitably framed, and to be delivered to the So- 
ciety as soon as it shall be ready ; which will be in about a 
fortnight. My contemplated absence from Boston induces me 
to mention to you Mr. McGuire's offering to the Society sooner 
than I should otherwise have done. I am very respectfully 
and truly yours, 

Wm. C. Rives, Jun. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop. 

On motion of Mr. Warren, it was Voted, That our 
cordial thanks be tendered to John C. McGuire, Esq., 
for the very valuable and beautiful medallion head of 
James Madison, presented by him to the Society through 
the hands of William C. Rives, jun., Esq. 

Mr. Paige announced the death of Dr. Henry Bond, 
one of the Corresponding Members of this Society. He 
could not, he said, give an extended notice of his life. 
He would say briefly, however, that he was grandson of 
Colonel William Bond, of Revolutionary memory ; that 


he was born in Watertown, March 21, 1790 ; graduated 
at Dartmouth College in 1813, where he remained as 
tutor about two years ; settled as a physician in Concord, 
N.H ; but removed to Philadelphia in 1819, where he 
died May 4, 1859, after forty years' faithful devotion to 
the theory and practice of his profession. 

To us, however, he was chiefly known as a local his- 
torian and genealogist. His great work, the " History 
and Genealogies of Watertown," will remain a lasting 
monument of his industry. It was prepared under the 
disadvantage of distant residence ; but his inexhaustible 
patience and perseverance overcame that disadvantage, 
and enabled him to accomplish one of the most 
thorough works of its kind. 

Personally, his modesty of deportment and purity of 
life endeared him to all his acquaintances ; and he will 
be remembered affectionately by them, not only as an 
industrious laborer, but as a good man. 

The President referred in appropriate terms to the 
decease of Rev. John Lee of Edinburgh, a Correspond- 
ing Member of the Society. 

The death of Baron Alexander Von Humboldt was 
announced by the President in a manner becoming the 
impressive event. After a simple allusion to the illus- 
trious character and works of the great philosopher and 
great man, and the loss which the world had sustained 
in his decease, Mr. Winthrop, at the instance of 
the Standing Committee, offered the following resolu- 
tions : — 

Resolved, That the Massachusetts Historical Society, on 
this their first meeting since the tidings of the death of 


Alexander Von Humboldt reached our shores, desire to unite 
with the scientific and literary world in paying a tribute of 
respect and homage to the memory of this illustrious philoso- 
pher and venerable man ; that they remember with peculiar 
pride, that, for a term of forty years, his name has adorned 
their honorary rolls ; that they cannot forget that the Ameri- 
can Continent has furnished the scene of not a few of his most 
profound researches, and that American institutions were ever 
the subject of his warmest interest ; that they recall with 
unfeigned sensibility his eager manifestation of respect and 
reverence for the memory of Washington, even within the few 
last months of his long and laborious life ; and that they are 
unable to withhold an expression of thankfulness, that a life 
unsurpassed, if not unequalled, in history, for its contributions 
to the cause of natural philosophy and science, presents also 
a noble example of simplicity, integrity, disinterested benevo- 
lence, and a world-wide philanthropy. 

Resolved, That a certified copy of the above resolution 
be communicated by the President to the relatives of Baron 
Humboldt, with an assurance of the deep regret with which 
we lose from its place at the head of our foreign Honorary 
Members — where it has so long stood — the name of one 
whose birth has had its full share, with those of Wellington, 
Napoleon, and Cuvier, in signalizing the year 1769; and whose 
death will have concurred, with those of Prescott, Hallam, De 
Tocqueville, — may the catalogue end there ! — in solemnizing 
the year 1859 to every friend of literature and science. 

Mr. Ticknor, in moving the adoption of the reso- 
lutions, paid an appropriate tribute to the memory of 
Humboldt, whom he had long known personally; briefly 
sketched the history of his scientific labors and writings; 
and related several anecdotes of the " great savant," 



whom he characterized as standing at the very head of 
the learned men of Europe, for the vast extent of his 
scientific attainments, and the purity and disinterested- 
ness of his character. 

Mr. Everett followed Mr. Ticknor, and spoke sub- 
stantially as follows : — 

I am not prepared, Mr. President, to pronounce a formal 
eulogy on our late honored and lamented associate, Alexander 
Yon Humboldt. No one needs it less; and our friend (Mr. 
Ticknor) who has just taken his seat, and who had greater 
opportunities than I enjoyed of cultivating intimate personal 
relations with him, has left nothing unsaid, which belongs to 
a due notice of his decease. At your particular request, how- 
ever, sir, I cheerfully add my humble voice to his. It is 
certainly most becoming, that we should pay this tribute of 
respect to one who has so long held a place among our honor- 
ary members. It is, in fact, no trifling indication of the early 
growth of his fame, considering the very limited intercourse 
which then existed between the literary and scientific men 
of Europe and America, that our Society should so long ago 
as 1817 have sought the honor of enrolling him among its 

It is for another reason peculiarly appropriate, that all 
honor should be paid to his memory on this side of the Atlan- 
tic ; for the greatest scientific achievement of his life — his 
American voyage — was performed on the soil of this conti- 
nent. Here the most laborious years of his life were passed ; 
for his expedition to Siberia in after-life, less laborious 
even while it lasted, was accomplished in less than a twelve- 
month. It seemed, indeed, as if a providential interposition 
guided him to the New World ; for it was only after three 
other projects had been baffled, that the path was unexpect- 
edly opened to America. Having educated himself as a 


scientific traveller, he first conceived the plan of travelling in 
Egypt; but the French invasion under Bonaparte made it 
necessary to abandon that design. He next thought of attach- 
ing himself to the voyage of circumnavigation which the 
French Government was preparing under Admiral Baudin. 
The war with Austria broke out, and diverted the funds 
assigned by the Directory to this expedition. " Cruelly de- 
ceived/' says he, " in my hopes, and beholding the plans which 
I had been forming for several years of my life destroyed in a 
day, I sought, as at a venture, the most expeditious manner 
of quitting Europe, and plunging into some enterprise which 
might console me for what I suffered." With these feelings, 
and having made at Paris the acquaintance of Mr. Skiolde- 
brand, the Swedish consul at Algiers, he formed a plan for 
exploring the alpine region of Central Africa. The Swedish 
frigate which was to transport the consul, Mr. Yon Humboldt, 
and his friend and companion, M. de Bonpland, had not arrived 
at Marseilles. For two months they expected her in vain ; 
and then learned that she had suffered severely in a storm, 
and, having put into Cadiz to refit, could not be expected at 
Marseilles till the spring. They took passage in a Ragusan 
sloop for Tunis. War broke out between the Tunisian regen- 
cy and the French republic, which made it unsafe to proceed 
by that conveyance ; and they passed into Spain, hoping to 
find there the means of transit to Africa. The minister of 
Saxony at Madrid procured for his enterprising countryman 
— then thirty years old — a favorable introduction to the 
President of the Council of the Indies, which resulted in full 
permission to explore the dominions of Spain in America and 
the East. This permission was not withdrawn on the fall of 
M. de Urquijo from power. " During the five years," says Mr. 
Yon Humboldt, il that we traversed the New Continent, we per- 
ceived not the least appearance of distrust ; and it is grateful 
to me here to recollect, that in the midst of the most afflicting 
privations, and struggling against the obstacles which arise 


from the savage state of the country, we have never had to 
complain of the injustice of man." 

Nor will it be denied, that Mr. Yon Humboldt's literary repu- 
tation rests in a good degree on his American expedition, and 
on the works — scientific, historical, statistical, and miscella- 
neous — which were the fruit of that expedition. I do not, of 
course, claim for that remarkable series of publications to take 
precedence, as a philosophical treatise, or a body of natural sci- 
ence, over the " Cosmos ; " but I need not say to the students 
of Mr. Yon Humboldt's writings, that but for his voyage to 
America, the researches connected with it, the observations 
in every department of natural history, which he made during 
the progress of the voyage, and the subsequent studies re- 
quired for the preparation of the numerous publications in 
which its results were given to the world, the " Cosmos," in 
all human probability, would never have been written. I 
reflect with satisfaction, that I had the privilege, more years 
ago than I care to enumerate, in an article in the " North- 
American Review," of which I was then the editor, of submit- 
ting to the reading public an account, a very imperfect one 
I feel most sensibly, but the first, if I mistake not, which 
had appeared in our language, of all the works then published 
as the fruits of this ever-memorable expedition. The ori- 
ginal works necessary for the preparation of the article, not 
being at that time in our public libraries, were imported by me 
for the purpose. The remarkable treatise to which Mr. Ticknor 
has alluded, the " Examen Critique de l'Histoire de la Geo- 
graphic du Nouveau Monde," had not then appeared; but 
was, at the time of its publication, imported by me, in order 
particularly to ascertain the opinions entertained by M. Yon 
Humboldt on the supposed ante-Columbian discovery of this 
Continent by the Scandinavians." 

You have, sir, in the resolutions reported from the Standing 
Committee, expressed the unanimous opinion of the scientific 
world, in placing Alexander Yon Humboldt at the head of the 


men of science, not only of his own, but, I think we may 
venture to add with the diffidence which ought to attend such 
a judgment, of any age. He took this rank not only in virtue 
of what he was, but, if I may hazard the seeming paradox, 
in virtue, at any rate in spite, of what he was not. Standing, 
as I have said, by general consent at the head of the republic 
of science, there was perhaps no one special department in 
which his superior might not be found on the Continent of 
Europe, in England, or in this country. There was no one 
speciality to which he gave himself exclusively ; so that it is 
no derogation from his merit to say, that there were among 
the men of science, his contemporaries, those who, each in 
his particular department, had pushed their researches further 
than he had done. For one such, we need not go beyond this 
neighborhood. But it belonged to Humboldt to take a com- 
prehensive, an imperial, survey of the whole field of science, 
and to mould the mass of materials derived from the indivi- 
dual researches of others into one grand system ; himself an 
intellectual " Cosmos " akin to the scientific " Cosmos " of his 
own formation. 

Nothing is more characteristic of his career as a philosopher 
than the length of time during which his labors, both as an 
investigator and a writer, were carried on ; the continuance of 
his physical and intellectual activity, long after attaining the 
age at which the majority of men, weary of toil and satisfied 
with success, or reconciled to the want of it, sink into repose. 
He was sixty years old when he undertook his expedition to 
the Oural and Altai mountains, of which the fruits are recorded 
in his " Asie Centrale, — Recherches sur les Chaines de Mon- 
tagnes et la Climatologie comparee ; " an expedition under- 
taken with G-ustave Rose and Ehrenberg, at the repeated and 
earnest request of the Russian Emperor, who appropriated 
large sums to defray the expense. With the exception of the 
first forty pages of his " Cosmos," he tells us in the preface 
of the first-published volumes of that work, that it was wholly 


written, and for the first time, in the years 1843 and 1844. 
As he was born in 1769 ; he must have been seventy-four when 
he commenced it. 

Nor was this physical and mental activity, protracted so 
long beyond the accepted term of human life (for the fifth 
volume of " Cosmos " was completed but the last year), the 
only wonder. Other causes combined to produce his aston- 
ishing fertility as a writer. It may be interesting to all, and 
important to those who are not so far advanced in years as to 
have formed their habits beyond the hope of change, to know 
one of the secrets of his physical and scientific life. Living 
to the age, within a few months, of ninety years, for all pur- 
poses of regular scientific research and literary labor, he lived 
another life of forty or fifty years, in consequence of having ac- 
customed himself, from the time that he grew up to manhood, 
to about four hours' sleep. I think I can state this on his own 
authority ; for I heard it asserted in his presence, and listened 
to by him with a smile, which I regarded as one of assent. If, 
then, we consider four hours of daily study as a pretty good 
day's work, for one whose time must have been so much 
broken in upon as his, we may say, that, by contenting himself 
with four hours' sleep, while the majority of men require eight, 
he really lived another life of forty or fifty years, in addition 
to his fourscore years and ten. Whether this was mainly 
the result of natural constitution, temperate habits, habitual 
abstinence from the causes of weariness and exhaustion, 
cheerful temper, or elastic spirits, or in some degree of all 
combined, I cannot say ; probably the latter. 

At any rate, his disposition was eminently social. My ac- 
quaintance with him commenced in the winter of 1817-18, 
when I frequently met him in general society in Paris. His 
company, of course, was greatly sought ; and no individual of 
eminence was more frequently to be met, as far as my means 
of observation extended, at the dinner-table and in the salons 
of Paris. He was then, as far as I could judge, principally 


engaged in those geographical researches, of which the results 
are given in the work above mentioned. On leaving Paris, he 
was good enough to give me letters to his brother William, at 
that time the Prussian Minister in London, with whom it was 
my good fortune, in that way, to become intimately acquainted. 
In the year 1842, Baron Alexander Von Humboldt came to 
London in the suite of the King of Prussia, who visited 
England to attend the christening of the Prince of Wales ; 
and I then had the satisfaction of renewing my acquaintance 
with him during his brief stay. It is scarcely necessary to 
say, that, at a moment when London was more than usually 
thronged with the celebrities of Europe, he was the centre of 
the greatest interest. 

Enjoying this world-wide fame, his feelings were not less 
catholic. Nothing more characterizes his works than the total 
absence of the spirit of invidious criticism. When other au- 
thors are named, — and how few are the contemporary writers 
of scientific merit who are not named in some part of the 
long series of his works? — the amplest justice is always 
done them. In truth, if he erred, it was in the opposite 
direction. One is sometimes inclined to think that he pushed 
the habit of kindly appreciation a little too far, and lessened 
its value by a want of severe discrimination. If he ever falls 
into this error, it was a fault on the side of generosity, not too 
common at the present day. To his great credit, Alexander 
Yon Humboldt was wholly free from that carping spirit which 
can see nothing in a work of science, literature, or art, but its 
defects ; and that hateful temper which seeks to build its own 
reputation, or that of a favorite, on the ruins of the reputation 
of a rival or competitor. The long series of his writings may, 
I believe, be searched in vain for one ill-natured word. 

I reflect with some satisfaction, that it was in my power 
to aid a meritorious young artist of this city, Mr. Wight (to 
whom we owe the admirable likeness of our great benefactor, 
Mr. Dowse, which graces this room), in procuring the oppor- 


tunity of painting Baron Humboldt. This was a favor, of 
course, not lightly to be asked of a person so distinguished, 
whose time was so precious, and whom so many artists were 
eager to paint and to model. Mr. Wight, however, succeeded 
so well in a portrait of my much-valued friend, Mr. D. D. 
Barnard, then Minister of the United States at Berlin, and an 
intimate friend of Baron Humboldt, that the illustrious phi- 
losopher, on seeing the portrait of Mr. Barnard, consented to 
give our young countryman four long sittings. Mr. Wight 
succeeded in getting an excellent likeness, which has been 
well engraved in this city. It is not without a slight resem- 
blance, it may be remarked, to Mr. Dowse himself. 

I had some hopes of seeing him again, before either of us 
should take the great journey. Disappointed in this, it is a 
subject of pleasing though sad reflection to me, that the same 
kind feelings, of which he gave me many valued proofs in my 
younger days, were manifested to my children while on a visit 
to Berlin the last summer. With " the scarcely legible hand 
of the old man of eighty-nine," he addresses words of friendly 
salutation to them, and kindly remembrance to me from " the 
traveller of the Cordilleras and the steppes of Siberia," the 
joint character in which he wished his name to descend. 

The strange assertion has lately been made, that the " Cos- 
mos " is a system of philosophical atheism, slighty veiled from 
motives of prudence ; and that even the name of God does 
not occur in it. This last statement is notoriously inaccurate ; 
and, for the first assertion, there is not, as far as I know, the 
slightest foundation. Humboldt, in this as in his other works, 
proposes to treat only the phenomena revealed to the senses ; 
but he recognizes the reality of spiritual and moral relations, 
though justly considering them above the province of demon- 
strative science. Between him and his brother William, 
undeniably a man of the deepest religious convictions, there 
prevailed an entire sympathy ; and he cites with approval, 
from the works of the latter, passages which recognize the 


truth of the Christian religion. On the appearance of the 
Chevalier Bunsen's " Signs of the Times/' in 1855, Humboldt 
rose from its perusal, and, on the same day, addressed a letter 
of two sheets to the author, expressive of his sympathy and 
approval. In his last great work, he refers to the Hebrew 
Scriptures with respect, and even bestows on the hundred and 
fourth psalm that much-honored name of " Cosmos,' 7 which he 
had appropriated to the crowning work of his literary life. He 
distinctly recognizes the purifying influence of the new faith, 
in contrast with the decaying paganism of the ancient world. 
So far is it from being true, that he " knows nothing of a 
God in creation," he asserts in terms, that " it was the ten- 
dency of the Christian mind to prove, from the order of the 
universe and the beauty of nature, the greatness and good- 
ness of the Creator ; " and he traces the growing taste for 
natural description, observable in the writers of the new faith, 
to the tendency " to glorify the Deity in his works." 

In denying the imputed atheism of Humboldt, I build no- 
thing on the occurrence of the name of the Supreme Being in 
his publications. No writers more freely use the great and 
sacred name than those of the Pantheistic, or, what is the 
same thing, Atheistic school; meaning, however, not the All- 
wise, All-powerful Being who created and who rules, with 
sovereign intelligence, the heavens and the earth, but the 
aggregate of existing things ; making men and beasts, and 
trees and stones, and dust and ashes, part and parcel of what 
they call God. 

I cordially second the motion for the adoption of the reso- 
lutions on your table. 

The Resolutions were then unanimously adopted. 

The President announced to the Society, that, imme- 
diately after the death of Mr. Prescott, he had, by the 
advice and consent of the Standing Committee, requested 



Mr. Ticknor to prepare a Memoir of the deceased for 
the Society's Collections ; but that he had inadvertently 
omitted to bring the fact to the notice of the Society, 
amidst the affecting transactions of the special meeting 
held in respect to Mr. Prescott's memory. 

Whereupon, on motion of the Chairman of the 
Standing Committee, it was Voted, That the Society ratify 
and confirm the appointment made by the President, at 
their instance, of Mr. Ticknor, to prepare a Memoir of 
our late eminent associate, Mr. Prescott, for the Society. 

The President communicated the following letter from 
Samuel J. Bridge, Esq., presenting to the Society a copy 
of the form of commission which was issued by the 
Board of Customs in London to revenue officers at 
Boston, America, in the early part of the reign of 
George III. The commission is as follows: — 

Boston, June 8, 1859. 

Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, President of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, Boston. 

Dear Sir, — While I was making some inquiries, in June 
last, in regard to the revenue system of England, I was shown 
in the London custom-house a blank commission, such as the 
Board of Commissioners of his majesty's customs in Boston 
issued to the various officers at this port previous to the Re- 
volution, — 

" In good old Colony times, 
When we lived under the King." 

The plate from which this impression was taken was found, 
only a few days before, among some old rubbish in one of the 
queen's warehouses ; having very fortunately escaped the fires 
which destroyed the London custom-house in 1787 and 1814. 


I made every effort in my power to obtain the original plate, 
intending to present it to the Society over which you preside ; 
but without success. Sir Thomas Fremantle, Chairman of 
the Board of Commissioners of her Majesty's Customs in 
London, in reply to my request, stated that it possessed the 
same historical interest to Old England that it would to New 
England. He very kindly, however, furnished me with six 
impressions ; one of which I present to your Society for 
preservation. The plate was engraved early in the reign of 
George III., and, you will perceive, is dated " Boston ; " which 
goes to show that all the blanks, stationery, and other sup- 
plies consumed in the customs here, were obtained from the 
mother country. This was a grievance complained of by the 
colonists, and one, among many, that led to the Revolution. I 
desire to have the commission framed at my expense, under 
the direction of the Cabinet-keeper. 

I am very truly your friend, 

Sam. J. Bridge. 

Custom House, London, April 21, 1859. 
Dear Sir, — I have been desired by Sir Thomas Fremantle, 
with reference to the interview you had with him this morn- 
ing, to forward for your acceptance six copies of the form of 
commission which was issued by the Board of Customs in 
London to the revenue officers at Boston, America, in the 
early part of the reign of George III., and which have been 
impressed from an old plate recently discovered in this 

I remain, dear sir, yours very faithfully, 

(Signed) F. G. Gardner, 

Assistant Secretary. 

Samuel J. Bridge, Esq., No. 2, Francis Street, 
Golden Square, London. 


To all People to ivhom these Presents shall come. 

We, the Commissioners for managing, and causing to be 
levied, his majesty's customs and other duties in America, 
do hereby depute and impower 

By virtue whereof, he hath power to enter into any ship- 
bottom, boat, or other vessel, and also, in the daytime, with 
a writ of assistants granted by his majesty's Superior or 
Supreme Court of Justice, and taking with him a constable, 
headborough, or other public officer next inhabiting, to enter 
into any house, shop, cellar, warehouse, or other place what- 
soever, not only within the said port, but within any other 
port or place within our jurisdiction, there to make diligent 
search ; and, in case of resistance, to break open any door, 
trunk, chest, case, pack, truss, or any other parcel or package 
whatsoever, for any goods, wares, or merchandises prohibited 
to be exported out of or imported into the said port, or whereof 
the customs or other duties have not been duly paid ; and the 
same to seize to his majesty's use, and to put and secure the 
same in the warehouse in the port next to the place of seizure. 
In all which premises he is to proceed in such manner as the 
law directs ; hereby praying and requiring all and every his 
majesty's officers and ministers, and all others whom it may 
concern, to be aiding and assisting to him in all things as be- 
cometh. — Given under our hands and seal, at the custom- 
house, Boston, this day of in the 
year of the reign of our sovereign lord King George the 
Third, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hun- 
dred and 

Voted, That the thanks of this Society be presented 
to Mr. Bridge for his highly acceptable donation. 

Mr. Ticknor presented to the Society the subjoined 
copy of a proposition by Dr. Sylvester Gardiner to build 


at his own cost an inoculating hospital, on a spot of 
land some twenty or thirty rods northward of the hospi- 
tal which he built during the last war for the reception 
of the sick and wounded of his majesty's navy: — 

To the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Bos- 
ton, in Toivn Meeting assembled, March, 1761. 

The small-pox, so fatal to mankind, and to which they 
are so constitutionally subject, destroys near a seventh part, 
wherever it prevails in the natural way. This truth the 
town, by a melancholy experience, can evince, as well as other 
parts of the world. Nor is the loss of individuals the only 
bad consequence attending the spreading of that devouring 
distemper : for the trade of every place in America, where it 
becomes general, is much interrupted and stopped ; and, 
consequently, thereby the public greatly suffers. Particularly 
at this time, should that illness spread, it would, as there has 
been a very large, importation of goods into this town, cer- 
tainly prove vastly detrimental to it, by preventing the sale of 
them ; and might, perhaps, throw the trade which we have 
with Connecticut and Rhode Island into another channel : and 
how difficult it is to recover lost trade is well known. More- 
over, when great numbers are seized with the small-pox at 
the same time, they cannot possibly have so good care and 
attendance, for want of which the lives of many are not only 
hazarded, but even lost. In order, therefore, to prevent the 
above-mentioned inconveniences, and many others for brevi- 
ty's sake omitted, it is with submission proposed, that a well- 
regulated hospital for inoculating should be erected in a part of 
the town from whence there could be but little if any danger 
of communicating the infection to the other parts thereof; and 
the same to be under the inspection of the selectmen. Such a 
hospital, it is humbly conceived, will meet with the approbation 
of the public, as it will have a tendency, and must, in all 


human probability, prevent that distemper from ever spread- 
ing* or becoming general in the town again, and subjecting the 
inhabitants to the severe hardships and difficulties they have 
repeatedly labored under ; and will, by the blessing of God, be 
instrumental in preserving thousands of lives. This will most 
evidently appear by comparing the numbers which die of this 
disease, who take it in the natural way, with those that re- 
ceive it by inoculation. A just and authentic computation is 
now humbly laid before the town. 

From December, 1751, to December, 1757, there were ino- 
culated in London, in the hospital for that particular use 
erected, a thousand one hundred and twenty-one, of which 
only three died ; so that, by that computation, three hundred 
and seventy-three recovered to one that died, excepting some 
trivial fraction. In the same city, there were received into 
the Small-pox Hospital, of those who took it in the natural way, 
from the year 1746 to 1757, three thousand five hundred and 
six, out of which died nine hundred and twenty-six ; which 
is somewhat less than one in four. This, it must be allowed, is 
an uncommon proportion ; but, on considering how many of 
those were taken in a manner out of the streets when the 
distemper was advanced on them, it may be easily accounted 
for. In the space of twelve years, there were two thousand 
inoculated in the towns of Hampshire, Sussex, and Surrey, in 
England ; out of which only two died. Mr. Ranby, sergeant- 
surgeon of England, inoculated upwards of a thousand, and 
never lost one. Mr. Winchester, surgeon of the Foundling 
Hospital, inoculated a hundred and eighty-six of those children, 
of whom only one died ; and, in his private practice, inoculated 

* What is mentioned here as probable, hath been, since writing the above, much con- 
firmed by experience, by the prudent conduct of the selectmen in inducing the removal 
of the persons affected with the small-pox to one of the houses hereafter mentioned. 
That distemper, which threatened the town from all quarters, is now confined chiefly 
there, and the town entirely free from it, without giving the least alarm or uneasiness 
to the inhabitants of the town or country from any danger they are in of their being 
infected from that place. 


three hundred and seventy, and lost but one. When that dis- 
temper, in 1721, became epidemical in this town, there were 
five thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine had it, whereof 
eight hundred and forty-four died ; which is nearly one in 
seven. In 1730, four thousand had it here, of which five 
hundred died; which is one in eight. In 1752/ there were 
five thousand and fifty-nine whites who took it in the natural 
way, of which four hundred and fifty -two died; which is 
nearly one in eleven, — a most favorable proportion: and a 
thousand nine hundred and seventy whites, who took it by 
inoculation, of which twenty-four died ; being one in eighty- 
two, — a very unusual mortality by inoculation, and which 
must be attributed to numbers being unfit to receive the in- 
fection, and taking the distemper at a season of the year not 
so favorable to the disease ; it being observed, that there was 
not one who was inoculated, after the month of May came in, 
but who did well. So that, from observation in this town, in 
the years 1721, 1730, and 1752, there were fifteen thousand 
and forty-eight who took said distemper in the natural way, of 
whom a thousand seven hundred and forty-six died ; which, to 
avoid fractions, is one to eight. It is now supposed that there 
are four thousand to have that distemper in this town ; and if, 
as we may reasonably hope, the good conduct and prudence of 
the selectmen can prevent its spreading, so as to give the in- 
habitants an opportunity of receiving that distemper by inocu- 
lation at the most favorable season of the year, the lives that 
will be saved, in all probability, in this town, by this means, 
will be four hundred and sixty, allowing one in a hundred to 
miscarry by inoculation, and one in eight in the natural way. 
And if four hundred and sixty lives can be saved in this 
town only in one season, what numbers must be saved, in 
all human probability, in the whole province, in the course 
of twenty years ! and how happy will it be for the rising 
generation that they are delivered from the fear of this 
disease at an age when there was but little reflection or 


danger from this distemper ! What hours and years of anxiety 
will they be delivered from by this early and truly prudent 
care of their parents ! 

Many of our neighboring governments have experienced 
the great benefit of going into the practice of inoculation, too 
commonly known to need recital at present. Now, in order 
to guard, as much as human reason can direct, against this 
mortal and much-dreaded distemper, by rendering it, by the 
blessing of God, less destructive to the human species, it is 
proposed by Dr. Silvester Gardiner to build at his own cost an 
inoculating hospital, well secured with a strong and high fence. 
This building will be erected between twenty and thirty rods 
northward of the hospital he built last war for the reception 
of the sick and wounded belonging to his majesty's navy. The 
old building he now proposes to be used as a house for inocu- 
lating the patients in : from whence they are to be removed, 
in a proper time, to the new hospital ; and, when recovered, 
to be returned again to the hospital in which they were inocu- 
lated, — there to remain till they are properly aired and 
shifted, so as to prevent the carrying-off or spreading the 
distemper. No person in town is to pay more than four 
dollars for inoculation, medicines, and attendance, and three 
dollars per week for diet, nursing, and lodging, during his or 
her illness. And further, said Gardiner shall be obliged to 
receive into said hospital all such persons sick of the small- 
pox that the selectmen of this town shall see cause from time 
to time to remove there in order to prevent the spreading of 
said distemper, upon paying four dollars for every such per- 
son's cure, and what shall be thought necessary for their diet, 
nursing, and attendance. 

And, if it should be ever found more convenient for the 
public to have the property of this hospital, Dr. Gardiner 
obliges himself to pass good and authentic deeds for the same 
to the town, whenever demanded by the selectmen, upon their 
paying the first cost of the land, buildings, and utensils. 

1859.] PROCEEDINGS. 329 

Mr. Ticknor stated that the Committee to whom this 
offer was referred reported against the suitableness of 
the place, and the proposition was not accepted. 

The President took occasion to say, before the ad- 
journment of the meeting, that he was preparing to be 
absent from the country for a few months, and that he 
must rely on the indulgence of the Society to excuse 
him for any omissions which his absence might involve. 
He was quite sure that the Vice-Presidents and Standing 
Committee would see that the Society suffered no detri- 
ment. But, should he be detained abroad longer than 
such an indulgence could reasonably be asked, his resig- 
nation would always be at the disposal of the Society. 
Meantime, if he could render any service to the So- 
ciety, or to any of its members, on the other side of 
the Atlantic, it would afford him the greatest pleasure 
to do so. 


The Society held their stated monthly meeting on 
Thursday, July 14, at noon. In the absence of the 
President and Vice-Presidents, the meeting was called 
to order by the Ee cording Secretary ; and Hon. Emory 
Washburn, Chairman of the Standing Committee, was 
chosen to preside. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording Se- 
cretary announced donations from the Department of 
State of the United States ; the Essex Institute ; Count 



Jules de Menou; A. D. Bache, Esq.; Hon. Charles Hale; 
Francis Brinley, Esq. ; Samuel A. Green, M.D. ; John 
Wilson, jun. ; Harper and Brothers ; Francis Jackson, 
Esq. ; Rev. E. M. Stone ; and from Messrs. Aspinwall, 
Deane, Hedge, Gray, Livermore, Quint, Bobbins, and 
Winthrop, of the Society. 

The Recording Secretary also communicated a letter 
from our associate, Colonel Thomas Aspinwall, accom- 
panying a very valuable donation of thirty-one vol- 
umes of newspapers; comprising ten volumes of the 
" Washington Globe " and " Union," eleven volumes of 
the " National Intelligencer," three volumes of the 
" London Times," and seven volumes of the " Evening 
Mail." Whereupon, the following vote, offered by 
Mr. Warren, was unanimously passed ; viz. : Voted, 
That the cordial thanks of the Society be tendered 
to their associate, Thomas Aspinwall, Esq., for the 
donation this day made by him, of a valuable series of 
newspapers, comprising the numbers, for many years, 
of the " London Times " and " Mail," the " National In- 
telligencer," the " Globe," and the " Union," all hand- 
somely and expensively bound. 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated letters 
of acceptance from Hon. Robert H. Gardiner, as an 
Honorary, G. H. Moore, Esq., as a Corresponding, and 
Hon. Charles Hudson, as a Resident Member. 

The same officer also communicated a note of invita- 
tion from the Committee of Arrangements for laying 
the corner-stone of the national monument to the 
Pilgrim Fathers, addressed to him, for this Society 
to be present at the ceremonies appointed to take 

1859.] DECEASE OF MR. GARY. 331 

place at Plymouth, on Tuesday, the second day of 

Voted, That the Corresponding Secretary be directed 
to communicate to the Committee of Arrangements the 
Society's acknowledgment and acceptance of their in- 

Rev. Charles Lowell, D.D., was elected a Resident 
Member ; the Society unanimously voting that his name 
be restored to the place in the list which it occupied 
before his resignation several years ago. 

Mr. Gray announced, in a few appropriate and im- 
pressive remarks, the death of the Hon. Thomas G. 
Cary, which took place at Nan ant, on the third day of 
the present month. He referred to his long and inti- 
mate acquaintance with the deceased, dating back to his 
school and college life. He spoke of the estimable 
qualities of his mind and heart, which had secured him 
the unvarying respect of the community, and won the 
cordial esteem of a large circle of friends. He alluded 
to the value and usefulness of his services in various 
relations of public and private life, and especially com- 
mended the conscientious fidelity with which he dis- 
charged all his duties. 

Mr. Gray then submitted the following resolution, 
which was unanimously adopted ; viz. : — 

Whereas it has pleased Divine Providence to remove from 
us, by death, our late associate, Hon. Thomas G-. Cary, — 

Resolved, That the Massachusetts Historical Society owe 
it to their own feelings to express their high respect for the 
memory of one so honored by the community for the able 


and important services which he has rendered to them, both 
in his public and private capacity ; and so highly esteemed 
by all who knew him, for his spotless integrity, his kind and 
liberal disposition, and his courteous and unassuming deport- 
ment; and that we tender our cordial sympathy and best wishes 
to his family under this solemn and afflictive dispensation. 

The Chair nominated Mr. Gray to prepare the cus- 
tomary Memoir of Mr. Cary for the Society's Col- 

Mr. Bobbins read a note addressed to him by Rev. 
G. W. Blagden, D.D., requesting him to present to the 
Society the following communication from the pastors 
and deacons of the Old South Church : — 

Boston, July 12, 1859. 

To the Honorable President, the Officers and Members, of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 

Gentlemen, — -In the year 1814, certain votes were passed 
by the Old South Church and Society, in this city, granting 
conditionally to the Massachusetts Historical Society cer- 
tain " books and papers " from the Prince Library, " adapted 
to the purposes of the Society," and to be " deposited in 
their room." 

From that time, the Old South Churoh and Society have 
been glad to know that the deposit thus made has been in 
such good and safe keeping, and been useful in carrying out 
the benevolent design of Dr. Prince, who said, in bequeath- 
ing to them the library of which it is a part, that he had 
" made the collection from a public view, and with a desire 
that the memory of many important transactions might be 
preserved, which otherwise would be lost." 

When the " books and papers " were thus deposited, the 


•Prince Library (consisting of his books in Latin, Greek, and 
the Oriental languages, and of what he called the New- 
England Library), though valuable, was not much used, nor 
sufficiently appreciated. 

As the interest in historical studies and collections has, 
since then, greatly increased, applications for consulting the 
books, and the need of a convenient and quick access to 
the whole collection, have also increased, and are increasing. 

Kecently, the Prince Library has been transferred to rooms, 
in our chapel, fitted for its reception ; and a new catalogue 
has been made, which, though answering the purpose for 
which it was originally prepared, we hope soon to have re- 
placed by one more satisfactorily compiled, — a copy of which 
we shall not fail to place in your collection. 

For these reasons, the undersigned, — the pastors and 
deacons of the Old South Church, — in whose care the 
library has been placed, have deemed it their duty to ask 
respectfully for the return of the books and papers thus in- 
trusted to your care, agreeably to the terms of the vote by 
which you received them ; which provides that " the Old 
South Church and Society shall at any time hereafter have 
a right to receive and take back from said Historical Society 
said tracts, manuscripts, and treatises, whenever, by their 
vote at any meeting of the said church and society, they 
shall so vote and determine." 

Accordingly, at the annual meeting of the Old South 
Society, held in April last, it was " Voted, That the pastors . 
and deacons be a Committee to address the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, respectfully requesting them to return the 
historical books of the Prince Library to the Old South So- 
ciety, and return thanks for their faithful custody of the 
same since 1814." 

The undersigned heartily unite in the thanks here ex- 
pressed. They will be at all times happy to give to the 
members of the Historical Society the freest access to their 


whole collection of books, and will have pleasure in ever- 
co-operating with them in advancing the knowledge and 
influence of the history of the Fathers of New England. 

G. W. Blagden. 
J. M. Manning, 

by C. Stoddard. 
Charles Stoddard, 
loring lothrop. 

The following votes, offered by Mr. Robbins, were 
unanimously passed ; viz. : — 

Voted, That the Massachusetts Historical Society respect- 
fully and gratefully acknowledge the courtesy and liberality 
of the Old South Church and Society, in the city of Boston, 
in having granted them the custody and use of a valuable por- 
tion of the Prince Library during the period of forty-five years. 

Voted, That the Standing Committee be directed, in com- 
pliance with the request of the pastors and deacons of the 
Old South Church this day communicated, to take suitable 
measures to restore and convey to the said church the books 
and papers of the Prince Collection conditionally deposited in 
the library of this Society in 1814. 

Mr. Livermobe, Chairman of the Standing Commit- 
tee of the last year, read a letter, which he had received 
while in office, from Mr. Henry Dexter, the sculptor. 
It had been laid before that Committee soon after its 
receipt, but had not hitherto been communicated to the 
Society, for the reason that the subject to which it re- 
lates was one which could more fitly receive the atten- 
tion of the Society at a meeting when the President 
would not be present. The letter is as follows ; 
viz. : — 

1859.] BUST OF MR. WINTHROP. 335 

My dear Sir, — I have been requested by those gentle- 
men who were instrumental in the procurement of subscrip- 
tions for the bust of the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, executed 
by me, to place the same in your care, for the use of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society ; and, in accordance with 
that request, I would now state that the bust is at my studio 
in Cambriclgeport, subject to your direction. 

Very respectfully yours, 
To George Livermore, Esq., Henry Dexter. 

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Mass. Historical Society. 

Mr. Livermore stated, that the Standing Committee 
of the last year had gratefully received the gift, and 
had placed it in the upper room ; and that they now 
asked the concurrence of the Society in their act. 

By announcing the gift, Mr. Livermore said he had 
discharged his duty as a member of the Standing Com- 
mittee ; but he ventured to ask the indulgence of the 
Society while he added a word respecting the final dis- 
position of the bust. 

The room in which the Society were now assembled 
was considered as finished and completely furnished 
when it was opened after the reception of Mr. Dowse's 
library. Nothing was to be added, or to be taken away. 
Stuart's portrait of Mr. Everett — the only portrait 
which adorned the library while in the possession of 
its founder at Cambridge — was very properly placed 
here. Indeed, he could not too frequently nor too 
earnestly express the deep sense of obligation in the 
minds of Mr. Dowse's representatives towards Mr. 
Everett for the sincere and long-continued friendship, 
which, commencing between thirty and forty years ago, 
had continued to manifest itself so strongly after their 
aged friend had gone to his rest. 


He would now avail himself of the opportunity, when 
the President was absent from his post, to say also, 
that for the ready, judicious, and efficient advice and 
action of Mr. Winthrop, when the subject of the gift 
of the library was suggested to him, the Society is 
greatly indebted. Mr. Dowse, after much deliberation, 
had made up his mind to give his library to some 
public institution. The Historical Society was only 
one among several, to which he had turned his atten- 
tion, and which he named in a conversation with him 
(Mr. Livermore) ; and, when Mr. Dowse instructed him 
to ask the President of this Society whether the gift 
would here be accepted on the terms which he pro- 
posed to annex to it, the whole matter was still unde- 

But the delicate and prompt attention given by Mr. 
Winthrop to the proposition of Mr. Dowse settled 
his purpose, and secured to this Society the library, 
and afterwards the fund for its support. It seemed, 
therefore, appropriate that some recognition of the 
President's connection with the donation should be made 
and perpetuated ; and as a friend and executor of 
Mr. Dowse, as well as from his interest in the Society, 
Mr. Livermore expressed the desire, that, at the proper 
time, the bust by Mr. Dexter might be permanently 
placed in the Dowse Library. 

After remarks by Messrs. Felton, Clifford, and 
Pobblns, expressing their cordial concurrence with the 
views and suggestion of Mr. Livermore, the following 
vote was unanimously passed ; viz. : — 

Voted, That this Society gratefully accepts the bust of 
the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, its President presented by 


Mr. Dexter on behalf of the gentlemen at whose instance 
it was executed ; and that, in accordance with the request 
just made by the friend and executor of Mr. Dowse, the 
bust be ultimately placed in the Dowse Library. 

Mr. Willard communicated the following paper on 
" Naturalization in the American Colonies, with more 
particular reference to Massachusetts." 

Naturalization in the American Colonies. 

The hostility of ancient nations to aliens, connected more 
or less closely with the sentiment of race and of patriotism, 
and made more intense by diversity of language, continued 
with few exceptions through the various periods of their his- 
tory, and passed into modern Europe in its several centuries, 
uninfluenced to any extent by the progress of civilization 
and refinement, and the precepts of Christianity. 

At the present day, though this hostility may be considered 
as at an end, a distinctive feeling between citizens of the 
same country and aliens continues, and will never be eradi- 
cated while men are separated into distinct communities. 

In the following tractate, it is not proposed to discuss the 
doctrines embraced in the change or transfer of allegiance, 
or to consider any real or supposed modifications of what 
have been regarded as the legitimate results of those doc- 
trines, but, only as a matter pertaining to our own history, to 
give a summary of the English statutes touching naturaliza- 
tion, followed by references to some of the Colonial charters 
and laws, especially to the exercise of jurisdiction in the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay, and in the Commonwealth 
both before and after the adoption of the Constitution of the 
United States. 

In no country of Europe has the exclusion of foreigners 
been more strictly enforced than in England ; so that, until a 
recent period, no one could become a British subject except 



by a special Act of Parliament.* In addition to the reasons 
given above, the pride of the Anglo-Saxon race, which hardly 
permits an Englishman to look on his Continental neighbor as 
an equal, would lead him to regard with dread any encroach- 
ment upon a population that had become homogeneous in the 
progress of centuries, — a dread that would not be diminished 
by the narrow channel that divides him from other races. 

But, while she guarded the sea-girt isle with this extreme 
jealousy, she was, as will be seen in the context, more liberal 
towards her Colonies after they began to acquire assured 
strength ; that is to say, more liberal as regarded foreign 
Protestants, while wholly excluding the Roman Catholic 
from every privilege of a subject. 

The first relaxation of the ancient restriction took place 
in 1708, under statute 7 Anne, chap. 5, entitled " An act for 
naturalizing foreign Protestants." The preamble states 
the plain proposition, that " the increase of a people is a 
means of advancing the wealth and strength of a nation ; " 
and adds, that "many strangers of the Protestant or Reformed 
religion, out of a due consideration of the happy constitution 
of the government of this realm, would be induced to trans- 
port themselves and their estates into this kingdom, if they 
might be made partakers of the advantages and privileges 
which the natural-born subjects thereof do enjoy." It is 
then enacted, that all persons taking the oaths, and making 

* By the statute of 7 and 8 Victoria, chap. 66, a resident alien subject of a friendly- 
State, or one who shall hereafter come to reside in any part of the United Kingdom 
with intent to settle therein, desirous of being naturalized, is required to set forth, in a 
memorial to one of the principal Secretaries of State, the facts concerning his age, 
profession, or occupation, length of residence, &c. If the secretary, after examination, 
is satisfied of the truth of the memorial, he may issue a certificate, granting to the 
alien, on his taking the prescribed oaths, all the rights of a natural-bom subject, except 
that of being a member of Parliament or of the Privy Council, and any other excep- 
tions especially named in the certificate; which certificate must be enrolled in the 
Court of Chancery. 

This statute did not extend to the Colonies. See statute 10 and 11 Victoria, 
chap. 83, enacted in 1847, cited post. 


and subscribing the declaration appointed by statute 6 Anne ; 
chap. 23, and having received the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper in some Protestant congregation within three months, 
shall be deemed natural-born subjects. 

This law did not extend to the Colonies, and did not find 
favor at home. Parliament soon relapsed into the old strin- 
gent doctrine of the common law, and in 1711, after an 
experiment of three years, repealed the statute of 7 Anne, 
because, according to the preamble, " divers mischiefs and 
inconveniences have been found by experience to follow from 
the same, to the discouragement of the natural-born subjects 
of this kingdom, and to the detriment of the trade and wealth 
thereof." The " discouragement and detriment " may have 
been more in seeming than in fact ; but so it was, that this 
exclusion of foreigners remained as of old in the mother 
country until the present reign. 

But there were other statutes designed for the benefit of 
the Colonies, where it was supposed the " discouragement 
and detriment " complained of at home would not exist. In 
several of the Colonies, foreign Protestants had become 
numerous, and their numbers were rapidly increasing ; and 
thus it had become a very desirable object to attach them to 
their new homes, by giving them an interest in the soil, and 
admitting them to full civil and political privileges, so that 
agriculture and trade and general wealth might be developed. 
To this end, in 1740, the statute 13 George II., chap. 7, was 
passed, with a preamble similar to that of 7 Anne : viz., that 
" the increase of a people is a means of advancing the wealth 
and strength of any nation or country ; and that many for- 
eigners and strangers, from the lenity of our government, 
the purity of our religion, the benefit of our laws, the ad- 
vantages of our trade, and the security of our property, 
might be induced to come and settle in some of his majesty's 
Colonies in America, if they were made partakers of the 
advantages and privileges which the natural-born subjects of 
this realm do enjoy." 


This statute admitted all. Protestant foreigners to the privi- 
leges of natural-born subjects, on a residence of seven years 
in any one of the Colonies, without an absence exceeding 
two months at any one time, taking the oaths of allegiance, 
abjuration, &c, and receiving the sacrament, &c. The oaths 
and declarations — with exceptions in favor of Quakers and 
Jews — were required to be taken before a judge in open 
court, between nine and twelve o'clock in the forenoon ; and 
to be entered in the same court, and also in the secretary's 
office of the Colony. The judge was required to make a due 
and proper entry of the oaths, &c, " in a book to be kept for 
that purpose in said court ; " and the secretary was required 
to make the like entry in a like book to be kept for the same 
purpose in his office, upon notification by the judge. 

A certificate, under the Colonial seal, was full proof of 

The secretary was directed to transmit to the office of the 
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, annually, the names 
of all who had taken the benefit of the act. 

Naturalized persons could not be of the Privy Council or of 
Parliament ; or hold any office or place of trust, civil or mili- 
tary, in Great Britain or Ireland ; or hold real estate within 
the same by grant from the crown.* 

In 1747, by statute 20 George II., chap. 44, the benefits of 
the statute of 1740 were extended to the " Moravian Bre- 
thren, and other foreign Protestants, not Quakers, who con- 
scientiously scruple the taking of an oath ; many of whom 
are settled in the Colonies." They are described as a " sober, 
quiet, and industrious people ; " and it is added, that " many 
others of the like persuasion are desirous to transport them- 
selves thither." 

* This clause in the statute was repealed by statute 13 George III., chap. 33, so far 
as concerned holding office or taking crown grants of land, except within the kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland. The repeal extends to the subsequent statutes recited 


The statute 29 G-eorge II., chap. 5, enacted in 175G, recites 
that many foreign Protestants have been induced by the 
statute of 1740 to settle in some of the Colonies, "particularly 
in the Provinces of Maryland and Pennsylvania ; the natural- 
born subjects of which last-mentioned Province do in great 
part consist of the people called Quakers, whose backward- 
ness in their own defence exposes themselves and that part 
of America to imminent danger." On this account, provision 
is made for raising a regiment of four battalions, of one 
thousand men each, into which naturalized foreigners may 
be enlisted; and a certain number of foreigners who have 
served abroad as officers or engineers may be appointed to 
serve in the regiment, on taking the oaths, <fec, as prescribed 
in the former statutes. The colonel of the regiment must 
be " a natural-born subject, and not any person naturalized 
or made a denizen." 

In 1761, statute 2 George III., chap. 25, these officers 
were duly remembered. They had raised " a great number 
of men, and trained them to discipline as soldiers." Several 
of the officers had " purchased estates in the Colonies, and 
had given the strongest assurances of their attachment and 
fidelity to the British Government." On these grounds, 
and to induce others, then or thereafter settled in America, 
" to engage in his majesty's service," it provided " that all 
such foreign Protestants, as well officers as soldiers, who 
have served or shall hereafter serve in the Royal-American 
regiment,* or as engineers in America, for the space of two 
years, and shall take and subscribe the oaths, and make, re- 
peat, and subscribe the declaration, &c, . . . shall be deemed 
. . . his majesty's natural-born subjects of this kingdom." 

* General Gates, a native of England, was a major in the Royal Americans. At 
an earlier period in the French War, he was captain of a New-York Independent 
Company which served in the campaign of Braddock. He was severely wounded in 
the battle in which Braddock was defeated. In 1772, he emigrated to Virginia, and 
purchased an estate in Berkeley County. 


The foregoing enumeration embraces all the English sta- 
tute provisions in relation to naturalization in the Colonies 
preceding the Revolution. They are sufficiently liberal in 
term of residence required ; and probably many foreign Pro- 
testants, in several of the Colonies, sought for the benefits 
opened by these statutes. But in Massachusetts, where the 
population was well-nigh homogeneous and Puritan, it was 
otherwise. In the Court of Common Pleas for the County 
of Suffolk, not one instance of naturalization is to be found 
from 1740 to 1752. Whether there were any between 1752 
and the Revolution cannot be ascertained, as the records 
for the whole of that period are and have been missing 
from the office ever since the evacuation of Boston, in 
March, 1776* 

The records of the Superior Court of the Province for 
all the Counties are kept in the office of the Clerk of the 
Supreme Court, in Boston ; and it is remarkable, as the result 
of a careful search which I directed to be made from 1740 up 
to the Revolution, that only four persons were naturalized in 
that court, f No book, such as the judge was required to 
keep, is to be found ; and there is none in the office of the 
Secretary of State. The only persons naturalized under these 
laws were Nicholas Budd, Aaron Lopez, Emanuel Peraro, and 
Theodore Dehon. 

The following is an abstract of the record in each case : — 

* At one time, it was thought that they were in Halifax, N.S.; and an early effort 
was made to find them, but in vain. The late William C. Aylwin, Esq., when clerk, 
met with no better success. Thinking, possibly, that they might have been taken to 
England, I applied to my friend Rev. Joseph Hunter, of London, a learned antiquary, 
and intimately acquainted with the public archives ; but he had never seen or heard 
of the missing volumes. 

f The reason may have been, that the petitioner for naturalization must have 
received the sacrament in a Protestant reformed congregation within three months 
previous. This would have required him either to become a member of the Episcopal 
Church, or else to join a Congregational, Presbyterian, or other dissenting church, — 
all of which were hedged in with creeds. 





iperior Court of Judicature, from 

1741 to 1780. 

, — Naturalizations. 

Nicholas Budd . . . 



1741 . 

. . Page 135 

Aaron Lopez .... 



1762 . 



Emanuel Peraro . . . 



1766 . 



Theodore Dehon . . . 

March 23, 

1767 . 



Upon reading the petition of Nicholas Budd, a native of Norway, 
in the kingdom of Denmark, but now resident in Boston, showing that 
by evidences, and a certificate herewith presented, he, conceiving him- 
self to be duly qualified for and entitled to naturalization, according 
to an Act made in the thirteenth year of his present majesty's reign, 
and thereupon praying that he may be naturalized according to said 
Act of Parliament, — Ordered, That the prayer of the petition be 
granted ; it appearing to the court that the said Nicholas Budd has 
been an inhabitant of his majesty's dominions for more than seven 
years last past, and has within three months last past received the 
sacrament in a Protestant reformed congregation in this town of 
Boston. The oaths appointed to be taken instead of the oaths of alle- 
giance and supremacy were administered to him by order of court, 
and subscribed by him ; and he made and subscribed the declaration 
according to the direction of the said Act of Parliament. 

Aaron Lopez, of Swansey, in the county of Bristol, merchant, a 
Jew, formerly residing at Newport, in the Colony of Rhode Island, 
&c, — to wit, at said Newport from Oct. 13, 1752, to Sept. 10, 1762, 
and at said Swansey since, — took and subscribed the oaths, &c, in 
presence of the chief justice and other three justices, between the 
hours of nine and twelve in the morning.* 

Emanuel Peraro, a Portuguese, now of Boston, mariner, where he 
has resided for more than seven years, and not been absent for more 
than two months, proof made thereof, and of his having received the 
sacrament according to the usage of the Church of England, was 
admitted, and took and subscribed the oaths before the chief justice 
and other justices, between the hours aforesaid. 

* Lopez was a Jew. In 1777, with several other Jewish families, he removed to 
Leicester, in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and was there extensively engaged 
in trade. He was a man of intelligence and industry, and became thrifty according 
to the wont of his people. 

See Washburn's History of Leicester for some further account of Lopez and other 
Jewish residents in that town. 


Theodore Dehon, now of Boston, born out of the legiance of his 
majesty the King of Great Britain, resided in said Boston more 
than seven years, and not been absent, &c. ; that he is a Protestant, 
and of the communion of the Church of England. And said Theo- 
dore, on certificate of his having received the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper according to the usage of the church aforesaid, was admit- 
ted, and took and subscribed the oaths before the chief justice and 
two other justices, between the hours, &c. 

Turning from the English statutes, it is next to be ascer- 
tained whether the Colonial charters clothed the local gov- 
ernment with authority to create British subjects within 
their respective Colonies. 

By the Massachusetts-Colony Charter, the governor, assist- 
ants, and freemen had power to choose others to be free of 
the company, and to transport " so many of our loving 
subjects, or any other strangers that will become our lov- 
ing subjects and live under our allegiance, as shall willingly 
accompany them in the same voyages and ' plantation.' " 
Under this provision of the charter, there would seem to be 
no difficulty in supposing that they did or might admit foreign 
Protestants to become freemen. If any such strayed this 
way, men of orthodox lives and conversation, according to 
the standard, and were admitted to the church, as they might 
be, what prevented their being made free, on petition to that 
end ? By joining the church, the door was open which gave 
a view of civil and political privileges in the near distance. 
No one could be admitted to freedom, unless he was a mem- 
ber of one of the churches ; and, being a member, admission 
was almost of course, if applied for.* The colonists were 
still a " company," an incorporated company, with power to 

* None could be compelled to become freemen; and, after a while, it came to be a 
sore evil that many church members refrained from applying for admission. They 
did so that they might not be called to public service as constables, jurors, selectmen, 
&c. In order to meet their case, a fine was imposed on all such who refused service. — 
Colonial Laws, 1647. 


admit or refuse admission as they pleased ; in other words, 
to select associates according to their pleasure and their 
sympathies, within the prescribed limits. These would then, 
in the language of the charter, " become our loving subjects, 
and live under our allegiance." Of course, they would only 
be subjects within the Colony, with no power to exercise 
civil and political functions in England. It may be that the 
case never occurred ; but, if it did occur, it is not seen how 
any other result could have been reached. 

In the Province Charter, there was no express provision 
authorizing the naturalization of foreigners • and none can be 
gathered by implication. 

In New Hampshire, there is nothing on the subject, either 
in the commission of Charles II. to President Cutts, or in 
the commission of 6 George III. to Governor Wentworth. 

In Ehode Island, the charter of 15 Charles II. authorized 
the Assembly to choose persons to be free of the company 
and body politic, and to admit them into the same. The 
charter made no distinction between English subjects and 

So, in Connecticut, the charter of Charles II. allowed the 
General Assembly to choose, &c, persons to be free of the 
body politic, and to admit them into the same. 

In New York, by the letters-patent of 16 Charles II. to 
the Duke of York, the duke was allowed to bring into the 
Colony not only subjects of the realm, " but any other 
strangers who would become subjects." And, when the 
Province was surrendered to the crown, it was stipulated 
that " all people should continue free denizens " within the 
Colony ; and " that any people might come from the Nether- 
lands, and plant " in the Province. 

In New Jersey, in 1664, under the government of Lord 
Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, all who wished were admit- 
ted to become freemen, and so subjects, on taking the oaths 



of allegiance, &c. Being absolute lords-proprietors, they 
were not limited in their authority, as were the charter 

In Pennsylvania, by the " laws agreed upon in England " 
in 1683, " every inhabitant purchasing a hundred acres ; 
every person who has paid his passage, and taken a hundred 
acres ; every person that hath been a servant or bondman, 
and l is free by his service/ and has taken fifty acres ; ' and 
every inhabitant, artificer, or other resident in the Province, 
that pays scot or lot * to the governor/ — shall be deemed a 
freeman, and capable of electing or being elected representa- 
tive or councillor." f 

In Maryland, Lord Baltimore, by the charter of 8 Charles I., 
was constituted " the true and absolute lord and proprietary," 
and of course, as such, had the power to authorize his Assembly 
to grant process of naturalization ; which power, as will be 
seen in the sequel, was exercised. 

In North Carolina, no such power was reserved in the 
charter of Charles II. 

The next inquiry is, Did any of the Colonies, in their local 
Legislatures, establish laws on the subject, or lay claim of 
right so to do ? Mr. Dane, the learned and generally very 
accurate commentator on American law, states that " there 
were no naturalizations in the Colonies, before the Revolution, 
but such as took place under the Acts of the British Par- 
liament." J The remarks before made on the charters show 

* Scot and lot is defined to be " parish payments." 

f Colonial Records, vols, i., xxix., xxx. 

X Abridgment of American Law, vol. iv. p. 708. Mr. Dane also states, p. 709, 
that "the Germans who came from Germany, and settled at Waldoborough about 
A.D. 1750, were and remained aliens." Perhaps this was so: but then it must have 
been of their own choice; for, so far as they were Protestants, — and most if not all of 
them were of that faith, — they might have been naturalized under the statute of 13 
George II., chap. 7, passed in 1740. 


that he is in error ; and this will appear beyond question by 
the following reference to the laws of several of the 

In 1683, "to quiet the minds of his majesty's subjects of 
foreign birth/' the Legislature of New York passed an Act, 
allowing all persons professing Christianity, now or hereafter 
becoming inhabitants, to be naturalized on taking the oath 
of allegiance. This phrase, " all persons professing Christian- 
ity," is found in no other Colonial law, and doubtless was 
introduced because the Duke of York was a Roman Catholic ; 
and the king was well known to be in full sympathy with his 
brother, though outwardly conforming to the Church of 
England. Again : by a law of 1715, 1 George I., foreigners 
who had become inhabitants after 1683, who had purchased 
estates and conveyed them away, or who had died seized 
thereof, were deemed to be naturalized ; and all Protestant 
foreigners, inhabitants in 1715, were to be deemed natural 
subjects on taking the prescribed oaths within nine months 
from the passage of the Act.* 

In New Jersey, as has been seen, Lord Berkeley and Sir 
George Carteret, in 1664, among their " Grants and Conces- 
sions," allowed all who would become subjects to be admitted 
to become freemen on taking the oaths of allegiance ; and 
authorized the Assembly to pass an Act "to give to all 
strangers ... a naturalization, . . . and all such freedoms 
and privileges within the Province as to his majesty's sub- 
jects of right belong." f 

And in Pennsylvania, as has been seen, by the laws agreed 
upon in England in 1683, the most ample power was given 
in the premises. 

So also in Maryland, under the successors of Sir George 
Calvert, — Lord Baltimore : " The true and absolute lords 

* Laws of New York, Livingston and Smith's edition, 1762. 2 vols, folio, 
f " Grants and Concessions," pp. 13, 14, 17. Folio. 


and proprietaries." The same power was vested in the 

In Virginia, there was a law of 1671, under which " any 
strangers " — as the expression was — might be naturalized ; 
and, by virtue of this law, many were naturalized by special 
Acts of the Assembly. This continued until 1680, when 
Lord Culpepper brought over, " under the great seal of Eng- 
land, 77 a naturalization law, which was introduced, " and passed 
the Assembly unanimously. 77 

In October, 1705, another naturalization law was passed. 
The latter law at least, if not the previous ones, was confined 
to foreign Protestants ; they taking the usual oaths, and the 
oath of abjuration of " the pretended Prince of Wales. 77 

In 1738, chap. 12, the General Assembly authorized the 
Governor to grant letters of naturalization to any aliens who 
should settle on the Roanoke, — the southern boundary of 
the Colony,* they taking" the oaths, &c. 

In Massachusetts, as before stated, there was neither ex- 
press nor implied authority in the General Court to pass laws 
on the subject, nor by special Acts to admit foreigners to the 
privileges of British subjects. 

The statute of Anne, 1708, repealed in 1711, had no refer- 
ence to the Colonies ; and there was no subsequent English 
statute, until that of 13 George II. in 1740, by which for- 
eigners residing in Massachusetts could become British sub- 
jects. Indeed, it was so from the revocation of the Colony 
Charter until 1740. Meanwhile, many foreign Protestants had 
settled in Massachusetts, — Huguenots driven from France on 
the revocation of the edict of Nantes, with Germans and others 
who had emigrated to this country for the •• enlargement of 
their outward estates. 77 These persons were subjected to the 

* The law itself has not been found on the old Statute-book. It may have been 
overlooked. But that the power was freely exercised, appears from statute 1704, 
chap. 4, regulating for the future the fees which the Clerk of the Assembly should 
receive from persons naturalized by Acts of the Assembly. 


payment of taxes, and sometimes were called to exercise 
municipal office ; but, in all other respects, they were de- 
barred from the rights and privileges of natural-born subjects. 
They were not numerous in the Puritan Commonwealth, com- 
pared with some of the other Colonies ; but numerous enough 
to be considered on that ground, as well as for their general 
good character and quiet demeanor. 

Possibly Massachusetts thought, that if Maryland, Vir- 
ginia, and other sister Colonies, permitted resident foreigners 
to become British subjects within their own borders, she 
might do the same. 

Thus circumstanced, several French Protestants, and one 
from Germany, presented the following petition to the Gene- 
ral Court, at the February Session, 1731, N.S. : — 

" To His Excellency Jonathan Belcher, Esq., Governor and Commander- 
in-chief in and over his Majesty's Province of Massachusetts Bay ; 
to the Honorable the Council and the House of Representatives in 
General Court assembled. 

"The petition of the persons hereto subscribed showeth that the 
petitioners, for the most part, were forced to leave their native country 
of France on account of the Protestant religion, in which they had 
been bred up and professed, and for which some of the petitioners 
have been greatly persecuted and distressed. 

"And, farther, the petitioners most humbly remonstrate to your 
Excellency and to this Great and General Assembly, that the most part 
of them have, for almost the space of forty years or upwards (during 
which time they have chieffly resided in this country), behaved them- 
selves justly to their neighbours, and, in their respective callings, with 
unshaken fidelity towards the gouvernment here, and the crown of 
Great Britain ; and have been all ways subjected as well as to pay 
rates and taxes, as also to bear offices of constable, &c, which several 
of them have sustained and executed with great faithfulness in their 
respective dutys : so that they hope, by the favour of this Great and 
General Court (which is well known at all times to act with great 
equity, and to relieve, where they can, the distressed), that as they 
have been always subject to do dutys, so they may be intituled to all 
the privileges of a denisen, or natural-born subject, of his majesty's, 


so far as is consistent with the power and justice of this Great and 
General Court ; it being what hath been generally practiced by most 
nations of Europe in favour of the French Protestant refugees, but 
more particularly by the crown of Great Britain and the dependent Colo- 
nys, as the petitioners can prove by many instances. Therefore, 
upon the whole, the petitioners do humbly pray an order of this Great 
and General Court to confer upon them the rights and privileges of 
denisens, or free-born subjects, of the King of Great Britain ; or be 
otherwise relieved, notwithstanding any law, usage, or custom, to 
the contrary ; or that they may be farther heard by the Council in the 
premises. They say relieved as this Great and General Court shall 
judge meet ; and, as in duty bound, your petitioners shall ever 
pray, &c. 


J(rhn yj*hr 


< *-**s^ 


"In Council, Feb. 25, 1730. — Eead, and ordered that the prayer 
of the petition be so far granted as that the petitioners, together with 
all other foreign Protestant inhabitants of this Province, shall, 
within this Province, hold and enjoy all the privileges and immunities 
of his majesty's natural-born subjects ; and that they have leave to 
bring in a bill accordingly. 

" Sent down for concurrence, 

"J. Willakd, Secretary. 

" In the House of Representatives, Feb. 26, 1730. — Read and 


"J. Quincy, Speaker" 

In pursuance of this leave, a bill was introduced into the 
House of Representatives, which passed to be enacted on 
the 16th of March, and was approved by Governor Belcher 
on the 2d of April following. It is in the following terms ; 
viz. : — 

"Passed by the Great and General Court, or Assembly, of his 
majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, begun 
and held at Boston upon Wednesday, the tenth day of February, 

" Chapter XIV. — An Act for Naturalizing Protestants of Foreign 
Nations inhabiting within this Province. 

" Whereas divers Protestants of the French and other foreign na- 
tions have removed themselves and their families into this Province, 
who are well affected to his majesty's government, and useful mem- 
bers of the Commonwealth, but, being born out of the king's legiance, 
have not, by law, a right to the privileges and immunities of his 
majesty's natural-born subjects, but are under divers disabilities, and 
subjected to many inconveniences and difficulties in their persons 
and estates: — 

"To the intent, therefore, that such persons, and all other well- 
disposed Protestants of foreign nations, may have due encouragement 
to settle themselves and their families within this Province, — 

" Be it enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and 
Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of 
the same, — 


" That, from and after the publication of this Act, all Protestants, 
of foreign nations, that have inhabited or resided within this Province 
for the space of one year, are hereby declared to be naturalized to all 
intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever, within this Province ; 
and from henceforth, and at all times hereafter, shall be entitled to 
have and enjoy all the rights, liberties, and privileges within this 
Province, and no otherwise, which his majesty's natural-born subjects 
in the said Province ought to have and enjoy, as fully to all intents 
and purposes whatsoever as if they had been born within the said 

" Provided always, and it is hereby enacted, That all foreign Pro- 
testants that shall have the benefit of this Act shall take the oaths by 
law appointed to be taken, instead of the oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy ; subscribe the test, or declaration ; and take, repeat, 
and subscribe the abjuration-oath, — in presence of the Governor and 
Council of this Province ; which shall be made of record in the 
Council-books, and for which each person so swearing and subscribing 
shall pay to the Secretary of the Province five shillings ; and he shall 
demand no more. 

" And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any 
foreign Protestant, having so sworn and subscribed as aforesaid, shall 
and* do demand a certificate of his being entered upon record in 
manner aforesaid, the Secretary of this Province, for the time being, 
is hereby directed and required to grant the same under his hand, for 
which he may demand two shillings and sixpence, and no more ; which 
certificate shall at all times be a sufficient proof that such person is 
naturalized by this Act, and as effectual as if the record aforesaid 
were actually produced by them or any of them." 

The foregoing Act was passed to be enacted March 16, 
and was approved by Governor Belcher, April 2, 1731. The 
session began Feb. 10 ; and ended April 24, 1731. 

It will be observed that this statute gives to those who 
are naturalized the same rights as natural-born subjects with- 
in the Province. Of course, no wider power could be exer- 
cised. No Colonial government, as before remarked, could 
confer rights and privileges to be exercised outside of the 
local jurisdiction, much less in the mother country. Parlia- 


ment alone could give authority to widen a Colonial natu- 
ralization, so that the subject of it should be a denizen of the 

Under this law, all the petitioners, except Duchezeau, — 
viz., Le Mercier,f Johonnot,;): Sigourney,§ Petel,|| and Brim- 
mer,!" — appeared before the Governor and Council on the 
12th of the same April, and were naturalized. They were 
followed, on the 7th of December then next, by Philip Bon- 
garden,** John Brown (women generalissimum), John Saciller, 
John Groward, and Philip Palier. John Arnault, of Boston, 
furrier, closed the list on the 18th of August, 1732. 

These are all the persons whose names appear on the 

* In the statute of 7 and 8 Victoria, chap. 6, which freely opened the door for the 
admission of foreigners, a question is raised, whether the Colonial laws on the subject 
of naturalization were of any validity. In consequence of this doubt, the statute of 
10 and 11 Victoria, chap. 83, was enacted in 1847 ; confirming all such laws already 
made, and allowing future laws touching local naturalization, subject to confirmation 
or disallowance by her majesty. No law of the kind could have any validity beyond 
the limits of the Colony in which it was made. It was further declared, that the 
statute of 7 and 8 Victoria, chap. 66, did not extend to the Colonies. 

t In his will, dated at Dorchester, Nov. 7, 1761, with a codicil, February, 1764, 
proved June 15, 1764, he names children, — Andrew, Margaret, Jane, and Bartholomew, 
" if living." His son Peter Le Mercier, born Aug. 7, 1723, is not named. No examina- 
tion has been made to ascertain the time of his death. His daughter Jane (unmarried), 
living in Dorchester, in 1769 conveyed to William Dennie, of Boston, part of an estate, 
No. 18, Long Wharf, which she inherited from her father. The deed was not recorded 
till 1793. 

$ "Daniel Johonnot, of Boston, distiller," in his will, May, 1748, proved July 1, 
1748, names sons, — Zachary, Andrew, and Francis; and the children of his daughter, 
Mary Ann (Johonnot) Boyer, deceased. 

§ " Andrew Sigourney, sen., of Boston, distiller, aged and infirm," made his will 
in May, 1736. It was proved July 5, 1748. His children were Andrew (mariner), Su- 
sanna, Mary, Charles, Anthony, Daniel, Hannah. His wife Mary survived him. 

|| "John Petel, of Boston, mariner, made his will, June 30, 1735. It was proved 
May 9, 1749. He was a married man, but left no children. 

^[ " Martin Brimmer, of Boston, staymaker," in his will, April 3, 1755, proved June 
24, 1760, mentions wife Susanna, and four sons — viz., Herman, Martin, Andrew, and 
John Baker — and four daughters. 

** " Philip Bongarden, of Boston, shopkeeper," made his will, June 24, 1748. It 
was proved April 20, 1753. He names his wife; his daughter Elizabeth, wife of iEneas 
Mackay ; and his grandson, Philip Cutler. In 1748, he became the owner of some real 
estate on the northerly side of State Street. 



Council-records. Why so few sought the benefit of this law, 
is not known. The number of foreign Protestants, at least 
French Protestants, may have been more numerous for a 
few years after 1687 than they were in 1731 ; but there were 
others — respectable men, who might be named — here in the 
latter year who do not seem to have become subjects of Massa- 
chusetts Bay. Perhaps they were naturalized in Great Britain, 
or in some other of "the dependent colonys " (ante, p. 16). 

At the present day, descendants of Sigourney, Johonnot, 
and Brimmer, bear up the respectable character of their 
earliest American ancestors ; while of Groward and Palier no 
vestiges have been discovered. In May, 1748, Brown and 
Arnault, two of the proprietors of the French Church in 
School Street, in connection with the remaining proprietors, 
— viz., " Stephen Botineau (the only surviving elder of the 
church), Andrew Le Mercier (clerk, minister of said church), 
Zechariah Johonnot, Andrew Johonnot, James Packenet, 
William Bowdoin, and Andrew Sigourney, — conveyed the 
church-property to the trustees of the new Congregational 
Church, of which the Eev. Andrew Croswell was pastor.* 

Eev. Mr. Le Mercier was successor to Rev. Peter Daille, 
who died in May, 1715. The former, surviving the diminution 
and dissolution of his society, went to his rest, in Boston, in 
March, 1764. He was held in esteem, in the place of his 
adoption, for his Christian virtues and graces.f 

It only remains to speak of Bongarden and Saciller, and 
that in connection with the Palatines. Beyond this connec- 
tion, nothing has been ascertained in relation to Saciller. 

In March, 1732, Philip Bongarden and John Saciller, as 

* Drake's History of Boston ; Suffolk Registry of Deeds. 

t The late Rev. Dr. Holmes published a very interesting " Memoir of the French 
Protestants, who settled at Oxford, Mass., A.D. 1686; with a Sketch of the entire 
History of the Protestants of France." See Collections of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, vol. ii. 3d series, pp. 1-83. 


" agents for the Palatines," made complaint to the Governor 
and Council of " the cruel and inhuman treatment " the 
Palatines received "from Captain Jacob Lobb, in their pas- 
sage from Holland, by reason of which the greatest part of 
their company died at sea ; and of his barbarous usage of the 
survivors after their arrival at Martha's Vineyard, which had 
occasioned the death of divers others ; and prayed that 
exemplary justice might be done on the said Lobb." The 
Council referred the complainants, with their papers, to 
the Superior Court. 

Two indictments were found against Lobb at the April 
Term of the Superior Court in Barnstable. Lobb was a 
Cornwall man from Penzance, and was on a voyage from 
Rotterdam to Philadelphia ; having in his vessel more than a 
hundred Palatines, who went on board at Rotterdam in June, 
1731. The vessel was obliged to put into the Vineyard in 
November, while on the voyage to Philadelphia. Lobb was 
charged with occasioning the death of Johannes Youngman, 
about two years of age; son of John Didrick Youngman ; and 
Jacob Comes, jun., about the age of nine years, a Palatine, 
son of Jacob Comes, — by detaining them on board the vessel 
after she reached Holmes's Hole ; that the child Youngman 
was infirm and sickly, and languished and died by reason of 
not being furnished by Lobb with sufficient food to sustain 
life ; and that Comes also died of hunger. According to the 
allegations in the indictment, Lobb was under contract to 
supply the passengers with provisions for the voyage. The 
jury returned verdicts in favor of the captain. 

In the latter part of the same month, Bongarden and 
Saciller made complaint to the Governor and Council of 
other troubles suffered by the Palatines at Edgartown, inas- 
much as Lobb refused to save the town harmless for their 
support, and the authorities threatened to imprison and sell 
them to satisfy charges. The Council acted promptly on this 


In July following, Bongarden alone preferred a third pe- 
tition, by which it appeared that the poor Palatines — now 
more than a year from home, and still distant from their 
destination — were in Duke's-County Jail at the suit of Lobb, 
pending in the Court of Common Pleas ; and that Payne and 
Zaccheus Mayhew, two of the justices, had so far engaged 
in u the controversy as to be liable to a bias " in Lobb's favor. 
The Council, on investigation, being satisfied that the May- 
hews had taken sides with Lobb, set them aside in all causes 
between him and the Palatines, and appointed Joseph Lathrop 
and John Thacher special justices in their place. 

In May, 1736, the Council recognized the humanity and 
fidelity of Philip Bongarden, and allowed him for his " charge, 
time, and trouble," on account of the Palatines, the sum of 
£173. 16s. 

The law of the Province of Massachusetts, which has been 
under notice, is not found in any edition of the general laws ; 
so that its existence seems to be unknown at the present day. 
The Province Charter required that all laws should be trans- 
mitted to the king, " under the public seal, ... for approba- 
tion or disallowance." If disallowed and rejected by the 
king in Privy Council, within three years after being pre- 
sented, and so signified under the king's " sign-manual and 
signet/ 7 or " by the Privy Council to the Governor," they be- 
came thenceforth " void, and of none effect ; " but, if not 
returned within three years, they remained in force. 

There is nothing to be found in the office of the Secretary 
of State to show that this law was returned to the Governor, 
except the fact that the law appears nowhere, save in a little 
pamphlet of temporary enactments. This, however, may be 
considered full proof; and, as there was no naturalization 
after that of Arnault in August, 1732, it is a fair inference 
that the law soon afterwards came to an untimely death. 

It is a matter of history that Provincial laws were disal- 
lowed by the king ; and how then can it be accounted for 


that no veto or disallowance thereof, " under the king's sign- 
manual or signet/ 7 or "by the Privy Council to the Governor/ 7 
is to be found on file, or in any way alluded to, in the records 
at the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth ? * 

It only remains to consider the subject of naturalization in 
Massachusetts, from the date of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence until near the close of the last century, — six years 
after the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. 

By the Declaration of Independence, the Colonies assumed 
the position of independent States ; and, under the Confedera- 
tion, several of them passed naturalization laws, while others 
naturalized foreigners by special Acts. There was no uni- 
form system. 

" The dissimilarity in the rules of naturalization, 77 says Mr. 
Madison, " has long been remarked as a fault in our system, 
and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate ques- 
tions. 77 In referring to the confusion of language in the 
fourth article of the Confederation, he adds, " In one State, 
residence for a short time confers all the rights of citizen- 
ship ; in another, qualifications of greater importance are 
required. An alien, therefore, legally incapacitated for cer- 
tain rights in the latter, may, by previous residence only in 
the former, elude his incapacity, and thus the laws of one 
State be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of 
another within the jurisdiction of the other. 77 f 

This dissimilarity in the rules " gave rise, under the Con- 
federation, to some intricate and delicate questions. 77 £ 

* I have found no reason assigned for the disallowance of this law. Was it from 
any known or supposed difference between the charter governments and the proprie- 
tary and royal governments in this respect? We have seen that other Colonies exer- 
cised the jurisdiction; and the Huguenots themselves say in their petition (ante, p. 16), 
that many of their brethren have been naturalized by " the dependent Colonys " of 
Great Britain, "as the petitioners can prove by many instances." 

f The Federalist, No. xlii. 

J Duer's Lectures on Constitutional Jurisprudence, p. 296. 


There was no general naturalization law in Massachusetts 
under the Constitution of 1780 ; but individuals were ad- 
mitted to citizenship by special Acts, the earliest of which 
was June 27, 1782. It appeared in this case that Michael 
Cunningham and John Prescott, late of Halifax, in Nova 
Scotia, " had exerted themselves for the relief of American 
prisoners at Halifax, and, in many instances, opposed British 
tyranny; espousing the cause of America, and fleeing to 
this country to pay obedience to, and receive protection 
from, its laws." As a reward, and " to encourage such well- 
disposed foreigners to join themselves to us," — " on taking 
and subscribing the oaths of allegiance, abjuration, and other 
oaths required by the laws of the Commonwealth, before any 
two Justices of the Peace," — Cunningham and Prescott 
" were to be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be, natural sub- 
jects of the Commonwealth, to all intents, &c, as if they had 
been born in the Commonwealth." 

The Justices were required to make return to the Secre- 
tary of the Commonwealth, " who shall record the same in a 
book, to be kept among the public records of the Common- 
wealth for the purpose of recording the names of such for- 
eigners as shall be hereafter naturalized by Acts of the 

The following persons were allowed to be naturalized ; but 
whether they all took the oaths, and actually became subjects 
or citizens, it is not easy to ascertain, as the book kept by the 
secretary cannot now be found.* No particular length of 
residence was required before naturalization. Several of 
these individuals and families, residents in Boston, will be 
recognized by those familiar with the society of the place in 
the earlier part of the present century.f 

* The title of this book is found in the catalogue kept at the office of the Secretary 
of State ; but the book itself has not been seen for some years. 

t Many notes might be made in addition to those which follow, were it worth 
while to pursue the investigation. 


Among those naturalized, there were several persons who 
had left the State during the Revolution, and adhered to the 
crown, or, in the words of the statute, had "joined the ene- 
mies of the State." In the heat of the war, — September, 
1778, — an Act was passed forbidding their return to the 
State, and providing for their removal in case of return. 
Should they voluntarily come into the State a second time, 
" without leave from the General Court," they were, " on 
conviction before the Superior Court, to suffer the pains of 
death, without benefit of clergy." 

All those persons who left the Province after the 5th of 
October, 1774, and before the " making " of the Constitution 
of the Commonwealth, and had taken English protection, 
were held to be aliens. By a law of 1784, these persons, if 
not named in the Confiscation Act of 1779, and not having 
borne arms against their country, might return to the State, 
under license from the Governor and Council. This license 
remained in force until the end of the next session of the 
General Court ; at which time, unless the General Court had 
approved the license, or an Act of naturalization had been 
passed in favor of the individual, he was required " to depart 
the State." 

1782, June 27. Michael Cunningham, John Prescott. 

1784, Feb. 13. John Gardiner, barrister-at-law. John Silvester 

John* and William Gardiner, his children. [His 
wife, Ann Gardiner, is mentioned in the title of 
the Act, but was omitted in the enacting clause. 
The omission was supplied Oct. 25, 1787.] 

Mar. 23. Thomas Hopkins, of Falmouth, Cumberland County, 
late of Devonshire, Great Britain. 

June 30. Thomas Robison, of Falmouth, Cumberland County, 
late of Quebec. 

1785, Feb. 28. Nicholas Rousselet, Boston, auctioneer. 

George Smith, Andover, laborer. 

* The late Kev. Dr. Gardiner, of Trinity Church, Boston. 


1785, Nov. 22. Paul Beltrernieux, Newburyport, late of Rochelle, 

„ 23. William Bond, Falmouth, Cumberland County, gold- 
smith, late of Devonshire, in Great Britain. 

1786, Feb. 7. Michael Walsh, Salisbury. 

„ 8. William Erving, Esq., Boston. 

John Duballet,* Boston. 
„ 17. James Wakefield, born in Massachusetts, but for fifteen 
years past residing in Nova Scotia. Ann Wake- 
field, his wife. Their children, — Benjamin, Ann, 
Terence,! Mary. 
June 5. Robert Morris, Shrewsbury. 

James Alexander, Shrewsbury. 
July 7. Jonathan Curson, Northampton, late of Exeter, Eng- 
William Oliver, Northampton, late of Bridport, Eng- 

1787, Mar. 2. William Martin and Elizabeth Martin, Boston. 

William Moch,| Boston. 

John Amory,§ Boston. 

David Smith, and Elizabeth his wife, Portland. Their 
children, — Moses, Ruth, Mercy, Lendall, David, 
Elizabeth, Hannah, Dorothy, Godfrey. 

William Molton, Portland. 

William Haggett, „ 

John Nicholas Rudberg, and Anne his wife, Portland. 

Thomas Craigie, Billerica. 
May 1. Edward Wyer,|| and Alice his wife. "His" chil- 
dren, — Edward and William. 

David Greene, and Rebecca his wife. " His " chil- 
dren, — John Rose Greene, David Ireland Greene,^[ 
Charles Winston Greene,** Rebecca Greene. 

* Merchant, Distil-house Square. — Boston Directory, 1789. 

f For many years a druggist and apothecary in Boston. 

| Hairdresser, 28, Newbury Street. — Boston Directory, 1789. By statute 1807, 
chap. 122, his son William was allowed to take the name of Andrew Jeremiah Allen. 

§ Storekeeper, 41, Marlborough Street. — Boston Directory, 1789. 

|| He was a physician in Boston, held in great esteem. There are many living who 
remember his son Edward. 

H Harvard College, 1800. ** Harvard College, 1802. 


1787, May 1. Thomas English* 

Oct. 29. Bartholoray de Gregoire,t and Maria Theresa his 
wife. Their children, — Pierre de Gregoire, Ni- 
cholas de Gregoire, Maria de Gregoire. 
Nov. 16. Alexander Moore, Boston, merchant. 

Isaac Smith, „ clerk. 

John Deverell, „ silversmith. 

John Gregory, „ merchant. 

David Poignand, „ merchant, and Delicia his 

Abraham Bazin, „ merchant. 

Henry Smith, „ merchant, and Elizabeth 

his wife. Henry Lloyd Smith, Elizabeth, Cathe- 
rina, Rebecca, and Anna Smith. 

Benjamin Pickman, Esq., Salem. 

William Pratt,! Boston, merchant, from London. 

Kirk Boot,{ „ „ „ „ 

Mary, his wife ; Frances, their daughter. 

1788, June 19. William Menzies Douglass, late of Great Britain. 

Paul Crocker, and Lydia his wife. Their grand-chil- 
dren, — Joanna Crocker Chute, Paul Crocker 
Chute, George Washington Chute, Lunenburg, 
late of Annapolis, in Nova Scotia. 

* A merchant, No. 11, Long Wharf. — Boston Directory, 1789. He was the father 
of James L. English, Esq., of Boston. 

f Madame Gregoire came to America with a letter of introduction from Lafayette 
to General Knox, dated Paris, Aug. 1, 1786. "I thought," says the marquis, "my 
best way was to introduce her to you, who can, better than any one else, advise her 
how to act, and give her accounts of the frontier, where she says she has some 

This lady was a grand-daughter of Mons. La Motte Cadillac, to whom the King of 
France granted a patent of the Island of Mount Desert in 1691. Under this patent, 
Madam Gregoire claimed the island. "It would seem," says Williamson (History of 
Maine, vol. ii. p. 515), "to have been a claim too antiquated and obsolete to be re- 
garded: but the government was so highly disposed at this time 'to cultivate mutual 
confidence and union between the subjects of his most Christian majesty and the 
citizens of this State,' that the General Court were induced first to naturalize the peti- 
tioners and their family, and then quit-claim to them all the interest the Commonwealth 
had to the island; reserving only, to actual settlers, lots of one hundred acres." 

The whole island had been confiscated, in the Kevolution, as the property of Gov- 
ernor Bernard; but, as his son John had been a consistent Whig throughout the war, 
the Commonwealth restored to him one-half of it. — Ibid. 

% Messrs. Pratt and Boot, from moderate beginnings, became extensively engaged 
in mercantile business. 



1788, June 19. Francois Bertodi, of the kingdom of Prussia.* 

Nov. 21. Elisha Bourn, Sandwich, late subject of Great Britain. 

Seth Perry, „ „ „ „ „ „ 

Edward Bourn, „ „ „ „ „ „ 

Richard Devereux, Parsonfield, late of Ireland. 

William Jolly, Portland, late of St. Pierre, Martinico. 

Jeremiah Joakim Khaler, Boston, late subject of Den- 

Phillip Theobald, Pownalborough, from Hesse Han- 

John de Polerisky, „ late of Molsheim, 

in Alsatia, France. 

1789, Feb. 14. James Huyman,f Boston, late of Rotterdam. 

James Henry Laugier de Tassy, Boston, late of the 

Seven United Provinces. 
Samuel Weston, Boston, late of the Island of Madeira. 
John Hicks, and Fanny Hicks his daughter, Boston. 
Frederick William Geyer, Boston. 
Charles Vaughan, Hallowell. 
William Davis, Windsor, Berkshire, late of Great 

James Scobie, Marblehead, late of Scotland. 
Daniel Wright, and Katy his wife, Salem, late of 

Great Britain. 
Nathaniel Chandler, Petersham. 
June 22. Nathaniel Skinner,! Boston, late of London. 
James Scott,§ Boston, native of Great Britain. 
James Scott, jun., „ „ „ „ „ 

George Shinnits, „ „ „ Prussia. 

Martin Coning, „ late of Amsterdam. 
Akurs Sisson, Dartmouth. 

1790, Mar. 1. John Jarvis. 

Lewis Leprilete.|| 
John Fowler. 

* In the Act of naturalization, Dr. Bertodi is called of "Persia;" a typographical 
error for "Prussia." He left a son, who, I believe, is the sole representative of the 
name in this country. 

f Merchant, Foster's Wharf. — Boston Directory, 1789. 

\ He was a merchant. § The second husband of Madam Hancock. 

|| Dr. Leprilete resided at Jamaica Plain. 


1790, Mar. 1. Alexander McDonald. 

William Welch* 

Peter Le Mercier, and his children, — Polly Eugenia, 

Sophia Cecile, and Peter Oliver Le Mercier.f 
Thomas Lane. 
William Cleland.J 
John Pennell. 
John Bond. 
Mar. 6. John Montgomery. 
James Green. 
Nathan Kelley. 
Stephen Jones. 
Thomas Ramsden. 
John Sockman. 

1791, Mar. 11. John White. 

Roger Dickinson. 

John Atkinson, and Elizabeth his wife. " His " chil- 
dren, — John Atkinson, jun., Charles Atkinson, 
Eliza Storer Atkinson, George Hodgson Atkinson, 
Mary Ann Atkinson, Caroline Frances Atkinson, 
and William Atkinson. 

1793, Mar. 9. George William Erving.§ 
Sept. 28. Pierre Briamant, Boston. 

1794, Feb. 27. Henry Huetson Pentland. 
June 24. Thomas Neil.|| 

Robert Getty. || 
Robert Holt. 

* Father of the late John Welch, Esq. 

t Thus the names stand in the Act of naturalization. But their names, I suppose, 
are more correctly given in the record of their guardianship, in Suffolk, in March, 1802; 
viz., " Eugene Sophia, Cecile Charlotte, and Peter Olivier Lemercier." They were 
then placed under the guardianship of Earl Sturtevant. Eugene and Cecile were over 
fourteen years of age, and Peter Olivier under fourteen. The father, perhaps a grand- 
son of the minister, is entitled " Peter Lemercier, late of France, deceased." 

In March, 1828, Eugene Sophia, "widow of George C. Flynn; " Cecile Charlotte, 
"wife of Henry Williams, of Boston;" and Peter Olivier Lemercier, — discharged the 
bond of guardianship. Williams was well known as a portrait painter. 

% A broker in Boston. 

§ He was educated at Oxford. He was consul at London, and afterwards was 
appointed ambassador to Spain by Mr. Jefferson. 

II Traders in Boston. 


The Legislature passed a law, June 9, 1792, allowing all 
persons, proscribed under any of the laws of the State, to be 
naturalized in the same manner and on the same conditions 
as provided for other aliens by the Act of Congress " esta- 
blishing an uniform rule of naturalization/' 1790, chap. 3. 

It will be observed by the foregoing list that the Legislature 
of Massachusetts continued to naturalize " aliens " as late as the 
June Session in the year 1794, — more than four years after 
Congress had made provision for naturalization, pursuant to 
the power contained in the Constitution of the United States. 
This may have been because the Legislature did not consider 
the power to be exclusive in Congress ; * or because there 
may have been a question, whether the statute of 1790 was 
prospective, — the provision being, " that any alien, being a 
free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and 
under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of 
two years," &c. The next statute, 1795, chap. 20, was pro- 
spective as well as retrospective ; and, after its passage, Mas- 
sachusetts ceased from all further exercise of jurisdiction. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
at the rooms of the Society, No. 30, Tremont Street, 
Boston, this day, Thursday, the 11th of August. 

In the absence of the President, the members were 
called to order by the Recording Secretary ; and Hon. 

* Indeed, so late as 1817, in the Supreme Court of the United States, counsel, in 
arguing a question in relation to the Maryland law of naturalization, 1780, intimated 
" that the respective States still preserve the right of making naturalization, giving 
certain civil rights to foreigners, without conferring political citizenship." Chirac vs. 
Chirac. — Wheaton's Reports, vol. ii. p. 264. The court, however, held that the ex- 
clusive power of Congress was incontrovertible. 

1859.] DECEASE OF MR. CHOATE. 365 

Emory Washburn, Chairman of the Standing Com- 
mittee, was chosen to preside. 

The Librarian being absent, the Eecording Secretary 
announced donations from the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences ; the New-Jersey Historical Society ; 
the New- York-State Agricultural Society; the Trustees 
of the New- York-State Library ; the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution; Henry B. Dawson, Esq.; W. F. Goodwin, Esq.; 
Rev. E. W. Maxey ; J. W. Thornton, Esq. ; Rev. Edwin 
M. Stone ; Thomas Waterman, Esq. ; W. A. Whitehead, 
Esq.; and from Messrs. Jenks, Lowell, Robbins, Webb, 
and Whitney, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary communicated letters of 
acceptance of membership from Rev. Charles Lowell, 
D.D., and Rev. Lord Arthur Hervey of England. 

Mr. Deane, from the Committee on the Publication 
of the Catalogue of the Society's Library, reported that 
the first volume, including the letters A-L, had been 
printed ; and asked for directions from the Society 
with reference to the binding of the volume. 

On motion, it was Voted, That the subject be left to 
the discretion of the Standing Committee, with full 
powers to procure the binding of as many copies as 
they may deem advisable. 

The Chair announced, in appropriate terms, the de- 
cease of Hon. Rufus Choate, a Resident Member of the 
Society ; and, at the instance of the Standing Committee, 
offered the following Resolutions : — 

Besolved, That whereas, among the names of the illustrious 
men whose death has consecrated the memory of the passing 
year, the Massachusetts Historical Society recognize with 


painful interest and unaffected sorrow that of their honored 
and esteemed associate Rufus Choate, they would hereby 
record their high appreciation of the affluence of learning, the 
brilliancy and power of eloquence, and the unfailing courtesy 
of manner and kindness of heart, which made him eminent 
in letters, conspicuous in the Senate, unsurpassed in the 
forum, and the delightful friend and companion in social life. 

Hesolved, That in him the country has lost one of her most 
gifted sons ; the bar, its brightest ornament j literature, an 
accomplished scholar; this Society, a loved and valued asso- 
ciate ; and his family, an object of devoted affection as a 
husband and father, the qualities of whose heart endeared 
him most to those who knew him best. 

Judge White seconded the resolutions, and paid a 
just and affecting tribute to Mr. Choate, whose profes- 
sional career he had watched with interest from its com- 
mencement at Salem, when, as a member of the Essex 
Bar, he gave indications of those distinguished abilities 
which he has since displayed. 

He was followed by Mr. Chandler, who spoke as 
follows ; viz. : — 

Although the bar, in various counties, had already held meet- 
ings and taken suitable aotion on the decease of Mr. Choate ; 
and although the citizens, at a public meeting in Faneuil Hall, 
had testified their sense of this great public bereavement, — 
it still was eminently proper that this Society, of which he 
was a member nearly a quarter of a century, should take 
some action upon the removal of an associate so distinguished 
and so able. It was true that our deceased associate was 
too much absorbed in the engrossing cares of professional 
life, for the past few years, to take much active share in the 
deliberations and labors of the Society ; but the subject of 


their investigations was one in which he took great interest. 
It has long been a proverbial expression, that the law is a 
jealous mistress ; but the remark is applicable to every pro- 
fession and all human avocations, where the highest excel- 
lence is sought for. First-class men are not men of one idea ; 
but they are usually men who devote themselves almost 
exclusively to one occupation or profession, with the deter- 
mination to do one thing well, rather than attempt a variety 
with indifferent success. 

Mr. Choate's greatness as a lawyer, apart from his remark- 
able natural powers, must be attributed to his intense love 
for and his enthusiastic devotion to its duties, and to an 
almost utter self-abnegation while engaged in the practice of 
his vocation. His power of application was most extraordi- 
nary. He was so pressed and absorbed by professional engage- 
ments, that it was often difficult to consult him at any length ; 
and, in the preliminary preparations of a cause, he did not 
manifest the zeal and enthusiasm that might be expected. 
Indeed, there was sometimes a feeling that he took little or 
no interest in the success of his client. But, when the trial 
was fairly commenced, his whole energies, all of his powers, 
were completely absorbed. To those who have never been 
associated with him, it is impossible to convey any adequate 
idea of his entire devotion to the cause on trial. Nothing 
escaped his attention. He never confessed defeat ; he never 
lost heart ; he never was discouraged ; and at every adverse 
turn in the evidence, at every discouraging ruling of the 
judge, his energies seemed to rise to meet the new emer- 
gency ; and the fertility of his resources was wonderful. 

Nor, in his arduous labors, did he seem to be influenced by 
the ordinary selfish considerations of other men. Most of 
our race are looking forward to some especial and prospective 
benefit as a reward for present exertions. The desire of 
wealth, the love of power, official position, an old age of ease, 
the " Sabine farm " in the distance, — these not seldom appear 


with considerable distinctness ; but not with him. He ap- 
peared to labor for the love of it. He found his reward in 
doing the work which was set before him. 

The magnitude of the cause or the character of the tri- 
bunal seemed to make no difference. Whenever and wher- 
ever he appeared, — whether in the highest tribunal in the 
land, or before the humblest magistrate known to the law, — 
there was sure to be a hard struggle. I have known him 
contest a trifling matter before a Master in Chancery for seve- 
ral weeks, where the compensation must have been entirely 
inadequate. The ablest argument I ever heard him make, and 
perhaps the ablest it was ever my fortune to hear, was before 
a single Judge at Chambers, with no audience, — not even 
the presence of his own client. The amount involved was 
comparatively small ; but the question interested his mind. 
He had given it a most patient and careful and thorough 
investigation; and for many hours he discussed it with all 
the vigor he could bring to bear, with a brilliancy of rhetori- 
cal power truly wonderful, and with an array of all the learn- 
ing which could by any possibility aid him in the case. 

" How is it possible/' some one exclaimed, " that a man 
of his age, after so many years of practice and in the midst of 
such labor, can bring so much zeal, enthusiasm, and power to 
bear under circumstances like these ; no audience, no ap- 
plause, no client; a single judge and a private room?" — "It 
is blood" was the reply, " and nothing else. He can no more 
help it, than the race-horse brought upon the course can help 
exerting his whole powers for victory." This is partly true, 
undoubtedly. There was " blood/' the complete mental organ- 
ization, the nervous energy, the remarkable temperament : but 
there was also the long and careful training — the days and 
nights of toil — to this result ; and the inflexible principle, 
worked into the soul by this systematic drill, to do every 
thing in the best manner at all times, and to be equal to every 
occasion. He had drawn in the spirit of the great masters 


of the law enough to know and to feel, that, in undertaking 
any man's cause, his client was entitled to his best energies, 
his whole powers, and all the zeal he could bring to bear upon 
the matter in controversy. 

It is not improbable that this earnest performance of duty 
may have been the occasion of grave misconstruction, on the 
part of a portion of the public, in relation to his principles 
of action. People outside of our tribunals of justice — and, 
not seldom, spectators themselves — are very apt to dictate 
the course which a lawyer ought to pursue, and openly ex- 
press their indignation when his efforts run counter to their 
own prejudices and prepossessions ; and their indignation 
knows no bounds when the final result does not accord with 
their own judgments. 

The necessity of the legal profession to the machinery of 
the social fabric in a free State is undeniable ; and all history 
shows that popular liberty is best preserved, advanced, and 
defended, where the legal profession is most unrestricted and 
free. There is, and there has been, no free profession in a 
despotism. When a celebrated Emperor of Russia was in 
England, he expressed the utmost astonishment at the con- 
sideration in which the legal profession was there held. He 
declared that there never was but one lawyer in his domin- 
ions, and he had caused him to be hung. And well he might ; 
for such a man would be much in the way of the arbitrary 
proceedings in a despotic country. And, even in free and 
enlightened governments, the popular excitement against 
private individuals who happen to incur popular odium is a 
dangerous element, which requires some check in the ma- 
chinery of society itself, or great wrongs will often be done. 
When popular excitement is at the highest point ; when 
popular clamor is loudest, and a victim is absolutely demand- 
ed, and seems necessary for peace, — it is no small safety 
to every member of the community to have a class of men 
educated and trained for the purpose of defending those who 



cannot defend themselves ; to step forth as the advocate, if 
not the friend, of those who are hunted by popular clamor ; 
to give their time, their talents, their learning, and their skill, 
in defence of those whom all others desert; to breast the 
fury of the people ; to stem the popular current ; and to insist 
upon a full, fair, and impartial investigation, before the victim 
is offered up. And when we reflect that men have often been 
convicted, and have suffered the extreme penalty of the law, 
whose innocence was afterwards made manifest to the world ; 
that men have sometimes confessed themselves guilty of 
crimes of which they were entirely innocent, — we shall see 
more clearly the need of a legal profession, and shall be more 
cautious of condemning those who enter into their duties with 
zeal and energy and enthusiasm ; who mean to do their whole 
duty, irrespective of the applause or clamor of the public 
while laboring under temporary excitement. 

I have spoken of our deceased associate as a lawyer. We 
all know that he was something more than this. We all know 
that he was a man of cultivated taste, of a brilliant imagina- 
tion, thoroughly conversant with all literature of the past and 
the present; and this very fact, when not perfectly under- 
stood, is calculated to give a false impression of him, and to 
lead the young in a wrong direction. He will undoubtedly 
be cited as an instance of a great lawyer who found time to 
indulge in literary pursuits, and others may be led to give a 
prominence to what he regarded as merely accessory to his 
grand purpose. He would have been mortified to be called 
a " literary lawyer ; " for he well knew that " literary lawyers " 
are most unsafe counsellors. Because Sergeant Talfourd con- 
tributed to the Reviews, and Judge Story wrote verses, and 
Lord Brougham indulged in mathematics, and our friend was 
familiar with the learning of all ages, young men may be 
induced to copy this part of their history, while their legal 
acquirements are very thin indeed. Doubtless, literature may 
be indulged in ; but it must be entirely subordinate. The 


great purpose of Mr. Choate was to stand first in his profes- 
sion : this was the main, the absorbing, aim of his life. All 
things else were merely auxiliary to this. He was a great 
rhetorician : but he was also a learned lawyer ; and although 
his arguments were brilliant, and always full of sparkling 
gems, they were also arguments, and rested upon the sound- 
est logic. Let those who would follow his example lay the 
foundation of excellence as he laid it. Let them carefully 
and patiently study the great masters of the science. Let 
them go to the very fountains of the law ; ever mindful of the 
maxim, Mdior est peter e fontes, quam rivulos sectari. Let 
them become familiar with all the decisions of the courts ; 
and then, if they have time, the pursuit of science and the 
diversions of literature will contribute to give that finish and 
power and clearness and discrimination which are also essen- 
tial to the highest success. I cannot forbear to allude in 
these remarks, already too much extended, to a statement 
sometime made, that Mr. Choate was a " strange product of 
New England ; " that there was something about him of Orien- 
tal magnificence. In one sense, a greater error could not 
exist. He was of New England, in every habit and thought 
and affection, and even in his personal appearance. His patri- 
otism was as broad as the whole country. He was thoroughly 
American in his feelings ; but his heart of hearts was here in 
the home of the Puritans. Never was a son of the soil more 
attached to the institutions, the habits, modes of thought, the 
localities, the hills, the rocks, of New England, than himself. 
He was one of us, — a country boy. He drove the cows to 
pasture. He swung the scythe. He dropped pumpkin-seeds 
of a Saturday afternoon in planting-time. He went to the 
town school, and was no stranger to the militia-musters. Ori- 
ental ! Rather let us call him a glorified Yankee. 

No man better understood or appreciated or respected the 
New-England character. He was extremely popular with the 
people, and without the slightest effort on his own part ; and 


no man understood more clearly how to appeal to the preju- 
dices and passions, or could more effectually move the feelings, 
of common men. His humor was characteristic, and was 
irresistible. That quaint drollery, that habit of bringing 
together and placing in contrast the most dissimilar ideas, and 
exciting mirth by the extraordinary contrast, — you will find 
similar attempts in every schoolhouse and store and black- 
smith's shop in New England this very day. 

He was so full of learning, his rhetorical power was so 
great, his imagination so brilliant, that one who did not know 
him well might suppose he was not practical. " There is no 
maxim," says Mr. Hume, in speaking of Sir William Temple, 
" that blockheads in all ages have more sedulously inculcated 
than this, that men of genius are unfit for business." Our 
associate was remarkable for his common sense, for his practi- 
cal sagacity, and for a thorough appreciation of the precise 
difficulties in any given position, and of the most expedient 
course to be adopted. In him there was a most remarkable 
combination of logical power, rhetorical skill, legal acumen, 
and plain sense. He was, indeed, a " strange production of 
New England." In any age, and in any country, he would 
have been a remarkable man. 

Judge Parker related interesting reminiscences of 
Mr. Clio ate' s college life, illustrating his surprising 
facility in the acquisition of knowledge, and the ease 
with which he outstripped all competitors, and bore off 
the highest honors of his class. 

The Resolutions were then passed unanimously, and 
the Recording Secretary was directed to transmit an 
attested copy of them to the family of Mr. Choate. 



A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day (Thursday), the 8th of September, at twelve 
o'clock, noon, at the rooms of the Society, in Tremont 
Street. The meeting was called to order by Jared 
Sparks, LL.D., one of the Vice-Presidents, who occu- 
pied the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording Secre- 
tary announced donations from the First Congregational 
Church in Suffield, Conn. ; the Massachusetts Anti- 
slavery Society; the State of Tennessee; Rev. S. C. 
Jackson, D.D. ; B. P. Johnson, Esq. ; Rev. E. M. Stone ; 
Oliver Warner, Esq. ; Prof. A. S. Packard ; Hon. H. M. 
Phillips ; William Cothren, Esq. ; George B. Reed, 
Esq. ; James Lenox, Esq. ; and from Messrs. Aspin- 
wall, Deane, Quint, and Robbins, of the Society. 

A communication was received from a Committee of 
the New-England Historic-Genealogical Society, invit- 
ing the members of this Society to be present at the 
celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the 
capture of Quebec ; on which occasion, an address is to 
be delivered by the Hon. Lorenzo Sabine. Whereupon 
the following vote, offered by Mr. Robbins, was unani- 
mously passed ; viz., — 

Voted, That the members of the Massachusetts His- 
torical Society accept the invitation of the Committee 
of the New-England Historic-Genealogical Society to 
be present on the occasion of celebrating, by a public 


discourse, the one hundredth anniversary of the capture 
of Quebec ; and take pleasure in manifesting thereby, 
through the courtesy of a kindred Society, their interest 
in the great historical event which it is intended to 

Remarks were made by Mr. Hedge and Mr. Sparks 
on the effects upon this country of the capture of Que- 
bec, which were listened to with great attention. 

Hon. Theophilus Parsons and Thomas C. Amory, 
Esq., were elected Resident Members of the Society. 

Mr. Robbins read the following note, accompanying 
and explaining a letter which he had been requested to 
communicate to the Society on behalf of Rev. Charles 
Lowell, D.D. : — 

Elmwood, Sept. 7, 1859. 
Rev. Chandler Robbins, D.D. 

My dear Sir, — I send you, as my contribution for to- 
morrow, a copy of a letter from a member of Congress to my 
father, who was, by marriage, his near relation and friend. 
It contains some interesting matter, which the Society may 
think it would be well to publish in their Collections, if it has 
not been already printed, as I suppose is the case. It is 
marked as private and confidential. The office alluded to 
is the judgeship of the Court of Appeals, to which my father 
had been appointed, and his acceptance of which had not 
been received. . . . 

Truly and affectionately your friend, 

Cha. Lowell. 

The following is a copy of the letter referred to : — 

Philadelphia, 14th March, 1783. 
Dr. Lowell, — For mercy's sake, where are your letters 
to Congress relative to your appointment ? They grow 


uneasy at receiving no answer. I have told them that you 
would accept conditionally, and that you had wrote answers, 
which were to follow me by post. There will be no diffi- 
culty as to the conditions. They wish you to serve, and 
would accommodate as much as possible. But where are 
your letters ? I am afraid they have miscarried. A certain 
gentleman in Boston wrote to a member, that he believed 
you would not accept ; and recommended Mr. P.* as having 
stronger claims than any other person, and every necessary 

We have been, for days, reading the papers received from 
our ministers. They have given us journals of all the nego- 
tiations, and stated every interview with Oswald, Fitzher- 
bert, Grenville, Yergennes, Aranda, and Mynherr. Mr. Jay 
appears to great advantage. He entered into the reasons of 
all their movements ; had firmness to oppose them, and address 
enough to counteract and outmanoeuvre them. The French 
and Spaniards acted in concert. Spain supported France in 
their attempts to divide the fishery w T ith Britain ; to fasten the 
Tories upon us by an article to compensate and restore their 
property ; to carry the British line as far back as Kennebec 
and as far south as to take in a great part of our back settle- 
ments : and France insisted upon our giving to Spain such 
bounds as would secure to them all the Illinois country, a 
great part of Georgia, a prodigious tract of fine country to the 
westward ; and would have excluded us from all the inland 
water-carriage and the Mississippi. The instructions " to 
advise/' &c, greatly supported these claims, and embarrassed 
our ministers; but it seems that they gained all their impor- 
tant points, in spite of the arts and intrigues of France, the 
sullen chicanery of Spain, and the weakness, timidity, or 

, of C. They wisely departed from their instructions, 

and did not acquaint Vergennes with their doings till 

* The name is given in full in the original. 


after the treaty was signed. Oswald appears to have 
acted with candor, and understood the true interest of his 
country. Yergennes went so far as to send a special message 
to England, when he found that Oswald had agreed to our 
propositions, in order to prepossess the minister against such 
terms ; but Oswald sent over Mr. Yaughan after him, who 
prevented any impression being made against us, and con- 
vinced that it was their interest to accede to the treaty. 
Thus you see the danger you were in, and the game that has 
been played. Had our ministers adhered closely to their 
instructions, and consulted France on every point, we should 
have been ruined ; but they wisely and with independence 
pursued the interest of their country. They did not even 
show the treaty to Yergennes till it was perfectly signed. 
But, it seems, peace is not yet certain ; and our treaty is not 
binding till the preliminaries between France and England 
are settled. France will probably delay an adjustment, and 
use every means to draw off Britain from the treaty with us, 
being exceedingly averse to the terms granted to us; but 
Britain, conceiving it to be her interest to keep to that 
treaty, and persuaded as she is that we are both the intend- 
ed dupes of France, will not, I believe, easily be induced to 
wish any great alteration to be made. It is a great point 
to get a formal concession to us of such terms : indeed, I see 
not how they can be departed from. I consider the war in 
America as at an end : every thing confirms me in the opinion. 
These things, however, are not for the public eye : a few only, 
of prudence and judgment, should be acquainted with them. 
There are who seem thoroughly disappointed in all this. 
Their countenances have fallen, and resentment at such inde- 
pendent conduct is seated on their brow. Hence I expect a 
disposition in some to give Adams liberty to come home, who 
has solicited it ; but I trust there will be too much firmness, 
and attention in Congress to the public interest, to grant it 
till the whole business is finished. His absence would proba- 


bly endanger every thing. Jay would then be uncertain as to 
support, and perhaps may be overruled. I expect soon a bud- 
get from Monsieur on the business, exhibiting high charges 
against A. and J. This will discover the temper of Con- 
gress, and show us who and who are of a side. 

What shall we do for money ? How shall we acquire more 
strength and energy? What settlement shall we make with 
the army ? These are difficult and important questions. 
They must be resolved ; but who can show us the path of 
duty and of safety ? We have been in pursuit of it ever 
since I have been here. Many have attempted the discovery, 
and have failed. I acknowledge, I am as yet unsettled as to 
them all. So many and such alarming difficulties present 
themselves on every side, that it is hard to say which road 
promises the greatest safety. However, we must decide : we 
cannot tarry. Come, then, thou genius of America, and be 
our guide ! 

I can't remember where you said your journals were. 
However, if I have good opportunity before I hear from you, 
I will send you my set, and take yours. 

The estates of fugitives had better remain as they are. The 
enclosed articles will suggest reasons. 

Do not let these things circulate too far ; nor should it, on 
my account, be known to many whence you get these things : 
it might, while here, do me an injury. I desired Parsons to 
show you a letter I wrote him. Caution him, also, against too 
free a communication of its contents. 

I wish you would call on Mrs. Gray once in a while, and 
advise her about her affairs. Her situation is truly pitiable. 
I do not yet feel enough at home to take a part in debates, 
without a hurry of spirits. I have attempted it two or three 
times, but felt agitated. 

Pray, give my love to all. 

Yours affectionately. 



Mr. Webb called the attention of the Society to the 
fact, that the publication of Niles's manuscript, u His- 
tory of the Indian and French Wars," which had been 
commenced in volume six of the Society's Collections, 
had never been completed. In a note at the close of 
the portion already printed, the Publishing Committee 
for the year 1837 gave the reader reason to expect that 
the remainder would appear in a future volume. Mr. 
Webb asked for some explanation of the omission, and 
hoped that it might be the pleasure of the Society to 
take some action, with the view of securing the pub- 
lication of the whole of a history so curious and 

After discussion, it was Voted, That the subject 
introduced by Mr. Webb be referred to the Standing 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day, the 13th of October, at twelve o'clock, noon, 
at the rooms of the Society, Tremont Street, Boston; 
Hon. David Sears, one of the Vice-Presidents, in the 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording Se- 
cretary announced donations from the Massachusetts 
Charitable Mechanic Association ; Trustees of the 
Asylum for the Insane, N.H. ; Trustees of the New- 
York-State Library ; Chicago Historical Society ; Ame- 
rican Philosophical Society ; Harvard College ; Usher 


Parsons, M.D. ; E. B. O'Callaghan, M.D. ; Rev. Edwin 
M. Stone ; E. A. Davis, Esq. ; Isaac Otis, jun. ; S. C. 
Newman, Esq. ; and from Messrs. Curtis, Deane, New- 
ell, Quint, Robbins, Shurtleff, and Webb, of the 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, the 
Recording Secretary read a letter from Hon. Theophilus 
Parsons, accepting election as a Resident Member of 
the Society ; also a communication from Dr. Charles 
Lowell, accompanying a donation of manuscript pa- 

The same officer also read an extract from a brief 
note addressed to him by the Corresponding Secretary, 
requesting him to present to the Society an engraved 
miniature likeness of John Phillips, the first Mayor of 
Boston, which had been put into the hands of the Cor- 
responding Secretary by the late Thomas W. Phillips, 
a few weeks before the decease of the latter. 

Several bound copies of the first volume of the new 
Catalogue of the Society's library were placed on the 
officers' table for inspection by the members. 

The Standing Committee reported a recommendation, 
that the portion of Mles's " History of the Indian and 
French Wars," which had not been published in the 
Society's Collections, be printed at the earliest oppor- 

Mr. Robbins communicated a note from Rev. Charles 
Lowell, D.D., requesting him to lay before the meeting, 
and to present, in his name, to the Society, the subjoined 
copy of a letter from Ralph Izard, the eminent senator 
from South Carolina, who enjoyed the confidence of all 


parties in the Senate. It was addressed to Hon. J. 
Lowell, the father of the donor ; and was dated Phila- 
delphia, 23d of October, 1782. 

Philadelphia, 23d October, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I received by Mr. Tracy the letter you were 
so good as to write me, and am obliged to you for the trouble 
you have taken about the publication. The matter seems to 
have subsided ; and therefore it will be unnecessary to trou- 
ble either you or myself any more about it. I am not, 
however, insensible of the unjustifiable liberty taken by the 
gentleman you mention. He seems, by his indiscretion, to 
have brought himself into trouble ; and certainly the best 
thing he can do, both for his own sake and that of his friends, 
will be to withdraw himself, as soon as possible, from the 
attention of the public. The last European letters we have 
are from Amsterdam, of 23d August. 

Mr. Grenville had returned to London; and Mr. Fitzher- 
bert, the British minister at Brussels, had taken his place as 
plenipotentiary at Paris. This, I believe, is to feel the pulse 
of the cabinet at Versailles. I do not think that the King of 
England is yet seriously disposed to make peace on those 
terms which alone can be accepted by this country. The 
combined fleet are said to be gone to Cadiz. Lord Howe 
will probably attempt the relief of Gibraltar. His num- 
bers are inferior to those of the allies; but the latter con- 
sist chiefly of Spaniards, and therefore I feel a want of 
confidence in them. Besides, they are commanded by Don 
Louis Cordova, a Spanish admiral, who is not, in general, es- 
teemed quite as good an officer as his opponent. We flatter 
ourselves, that, in the course of a fortnight, we shall receive 
accounts of the evacuation of Charlestown, as we have intel- 
ligence from New York that a considerable number of trans- 
ports are gone thither for the purpose of bringing off the 
garrison. It is high time that our unhappy country should 


be relieved from her distresses. Your State, at present, is 
very respectably represented : but I am very sorry to find 
that Mr. Jackson purposes to set out soon for Boston ; and 
the more so, as I cannot learn that there are any hopes of our 
seeing you here this winter. It certainly is of considerable 
importance that your State should be kept properly and con- 
stantly represented ; and I wish it were convenient for Mr. 
Jackson to stay until the arrival of his successor. Pray, pre- 
sent my best regards and compliments to Mr. Adams ; and I 
beg you will be assured that I am, with very great regard, 
dear sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

R. Izard. 
Hon. J. Lowell, Esq. 

Mr. R. Frothingham, jun., presented the following 
copy of a letter from William Ellery, dated 27th March, 
1775, — referred to in the volume of Proceedings for 
the years 1855-8, on page 282, — which he was unable 
to find wdien the record of the meeting, at which it was 
read, was prepared for the press. 

Newport, March 27, 1775. 

Dear Sir, — I received your letter; but it was a day too 
late to answer your purpose. However, the letters and news- 
papers have been, and I believe will be, serviceable to the 
good cause. The great man came to the last meeting w T ith 
a spirit much more humble than that which inflamed him 
when he bullied us all. In short, he was condescending, and 
so were we ; and we settled the matter with mutually promis- 
ing that we would not drink tea, nor suffer it to be used in 
our families. He was very much afraid that he should be 
posted, and his father thereby turned out. 

You did not write a word about , neither have I 

received any answer to my letter. As you have a good 


opportunity (the court sitting), I hope you will find out fully 
the sense of the county. What sort of a figure would our 
chairman make at the head of a prox? Put that question to 
such persons as you think proper • and find out what persons 
it will be proper, in the several towns in Providence County, 
to send proxies to. I know you have a good deal of business 
to engage your attention ; but some of your time you may 
give to your country. You must exert yourself. To be ruled 
by Tories, when we may be ruled by sons of Liberty, — how 
debasing ! Connecticut turned out Governor Fitch — one of 
her first politicians, and who had done her the greatest ser- 
vices — because he favored the Stamp Act. In the Massa- 
chusetts, there are not more than two Tory representatives. 
You must rouse up all that is Roman in Providence. There 
is liberty and fire enough : it only requires the application of 
the bellows. Blow, then, a blast that will shake the county. 
Talk of peace ! — there shall be no peace, saith my soul, to 
the wicked. Talk of union ! — do the Tories want to see us 
united ? I had rather see the ship in a hurricane, and hazard 
an escape, than to have her any longer piloted by an enemy 
to liberty. Throw something into the press to convince the 
people, where you are, of the danger we are in from a Tory 
administration, and don't be afraid of seasoning it highly. 
People who have weak appetites must be warmed. " Amicus 
Plato, amicus Socrates ; sed magis arnica Patria, magis arnica 
Libertas." Samuel Bours made a confession ; but it was not 
particular enough. We expect something to-morrow evening 
more satisfactory. The conduct of the Committee, though not 
so firm and severe as I could have wished, hath had a good 
effect. It gave a home -blow to the baneful herb. It was 
said that John Jencks of Providence drinks tea. There is 
no doubt that Mr. Hopkins drank it when he was at Newport. 
You remember what was said in the Committee. Since that, 
George Gibbs said, before me and several others, that James 
Clark (naval officer) told him that Mr. Hopkins drank tea at 


the Governor's, when he was last at Newport. Such examples 
are pernicious. If a delegate of the Congress, who associated, 
under the ties of honor, virtue, and love of his country, not 
to use that poisonous plant after the 1st of March, doth 
drink it, what will not others do ? This imprudent conduct, 
to say no worse of it, gives me great concern. Let others do 
as they may : let us, my good friend, preserve a consistency 
of character ; let us act uniformly, and for our country. If 
we fail, we shall have the approbation of our consciences ; 
if we succeed, we shall have the approbation of our country. 
7 Tis not in mortals to command success : but we can do 
more ; we can deserve it. 

I am yours affectionately, 

William Ellery. 

Make the best apology to Tom Green you can for my not 
writing him. You have seen a court. 

Mr. Washburn communicated a personal narrative of 
the experience and sufferings of Solomon Parsons, a 
soldier in the battle of Monmouth. 

Mr. Webb communicated a paper relating to the time 
and place of the introduction of gas into the United 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day (Thursday), the 10th of November, at the rooms 
of the Society, in Tremont Street, at twelve o'clock, noon; 
the Hon. David Sears, one of the Vice-Presidents, in 
the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording Secre- 


tary announced donations from the Trustees of the 
N.H. Asylum for the Insane ; the Trustees of the New- 
York State Library ; the Trustees of the National Por- 
trait Gallery, London, Eng. ; the American Philosophical 
Society ; the Chicago Historical Society ; the Tennessee 
Historical Society ; the New-England Historic-Genea- 
logical Society ; Harvard College ; Henry Clark, Esq. ; 
E. D. Huntington, D.D. ; James Lenox, Esq. ; Usher 
Parsons, M.D. ; William F. Poole, Esq. ; B. P. Robin- 
son, Esq. ; "William B. Shedd, Esq. ; and from Messrs. 
Appleton, Longfellow, Motley, Palmer, Parker, Bob- 
bins, Sears, Sibley, Sparks, and Washburn, of the So- 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from 
Frederic W. Thayer, Esq., in relation to a lecture about 
to be delivered, by Rembrandt Peale, on Washington 
and his Portraits. Voted to refer the subject to the 
Standing Committee. 

George Sumner, Esq., and Rev. Charles Mason, 
D.D., were elected Resident Members of the Society. 

Mr. Washburn presented, on behalf of Dr. Charles 
Lowell, a collection of manuscript letters and papers. 
Whereupon it was Voted, That the Corresponding 
Secretary be directed to communicate to Dr. Lowell the 
thanks of the Society for the several valuable donations 
of pamphlets and manuscripts recently made by him 
to its archives. 

Mr. Ames presented a printed circular, addressed to 
the " Gentlemen Selectmen of Stoughtonham " by the 
selectmen of Boston, dated Sept. 14, 1768; inviting 
them, together with the selectmen of the several towns 

1859.] CIRCULAR. 385 

in the Province, to join in a convention at Boston to 
concert such measures as his Majesty's service and the 
peace and safety of his subjects in the Province might 
require, in view of the grievances under which the 
people labor. 

The circular is as follows ; viz. : — 

Boston, Sept. 14, 1768. 
Gentlemen, — You are already too well acquainted with 
the melancholy and very alarming circumstances to which 
this Province, as well as America in general, is now reduced. 
Taxes, equally detrimental to the commercial interests of the 
parent country and her Colonies, are imposed upon the people, 
without their consent, — taxes designed for the civil govern- 
ment in the Colonies, in a manner clearly unconstitutional, 
and contrary to that in which, till of late, government has 
been supported by the free gift of the people in the American 
Assemblies or Parliaments ; as also for the maintenance of 
a large standing army, not for the defence of the newly 
acquired territories, but for the old Colonies, and in a time of 
peace. The decent, humble, and truly loyal applications and 
petitions from the representatives of this Province, for the 
redress of these heavy and very threatening grievances, have 
hitherto been ineffectual ; being assured from authentic in- 
telligence that they have not yet reached the royal ear. 
The only effect of transmitting these applications, hitherto 
perceivable, has been a mandate, from one of his majesty's 
Secretaries of State to the Governor of this Province, to 
dissolve the General Assembly, merely because the late 
House of Representatives refused to rescind a resolution 
of a former House ; which implied nothing more than a 
right in the American subjects to unite in humble and duti- 
ful petitions to their gracious sovereign, when they found 
themselves aggrieved. This is a right naturally inherent 



in every man, and expressly recognized at the glorious 
^Revolution as the birthright of an Englishman. 

This dissolution, you are sensible, has taken place. The 
Governor has publicly and repeatedly declared that he can- 
not call another Assembly : and the Secretary of State for 
the American Department, in one of his letters communicated 
to the late House, has been pleased to say, that " proper care 
will be taken for the support of the dignity of government ; " 
the meaning of which is too plain to be misunderstood. 

The concern and perplexity into which these things have 
thrown the people have been greatly aggravated by a late 
declaration of his Excellency Governor Bernard, that one or 
more regiments may soon be expected in this Province. 

The design of these troops is, in every one's apprehension, 
nothing short of enforcing by military power the execution of 
Acts of Parliament; in the forming of which, the Colonies 
have not, and cannot have, any constitutional influence. This 
is one of the greatest distresses to which a free people can 
be reduced. 

The town which we have the honor to serve have taken 
these things, at their late meeting, into their most serious 
consideration ; and, as there is in the minds of many a pre- 
vailing apprehension of an approaching war with France, 
they have passed the several votes which we transmit to 
you, desiring that they may be immediately laid before the 
town, whose prudentials are in your care, at a legal meeting, 
for their candid and particular attention. 

Deprived of the councils of a General Assembly in this 
dark and difficult season, the loyal people of this Province 
will, we are persuaded, immediately perceive the propriety 
and utility of the proposed Committee of Convention: and 
the sound and wholesome advice that may be expected from 
a number of gentlemen chosen by themselves, and in whom 
they may repose the greatest confidence, must tend to the 
real service of our gracious sovereign, and the welfare of his 


subjects in this Province ; and may happily prevent any 
sudden and unconnected measures, which, in their present 
anxiety, and even agony of mind, they may be in danger of 
falling into. 

As it is of importance that the Convention should meet as 
soon as may be, so early a day as the 22d of this inst. Septem- 
ber has been proposed for that purpose ; and it is hoped the 
remotest towns will by that time, or as soon as conveniently 
may be, return their respective Committees. 

Not doubting but that you are equally concerned with us 
and our fellow-citizens for the preservation of our invaluable 
rights and for the general happiness of our country, and 
that you are disposed with equal ardor to exert yourselves in 
every constitutional way for so glorious a purpose, 

We are, gentlemen, with the greatest esteem, your obe- 
dient, humble servants, 

Joseph Jackson, 
John Ruddock, 
John Hancock, 
John Rowe, 
Sam. Pemberton, 

- Selectmen of Boston. 

N.B. — The other two selectmen are out of the Province. 
To the Gentlemen Selectmen of Stoughtonham. 

In explanation of the circumstances under which the 
circular was prepared, Mr. Ames remarked, in substance, 
as follows : — 

On June 30, 1768, Governor Bernard prorogued the General 
Court, or Assembly of the Province, to Aug. 3 then next ; 
and by his proclamation, issued July 1, 1768, he dissolved 
the General Court ; and there was no session of the General 
Court from June 30, 1768, until the last Wednesday of May, 

Great complaint was made throughout the Province be- 
cause they were " deprived of the councils of a General 


Assembly in this dark and difficult season;" and on Sept. 12, 
1768, the inhabitants of Boston, in town-meeting, " Resolved, 
That as the people labor under many grievances, and as the 
Governor had declared himself unable, at the request of the 
town, to call a General Court (which is the Assembly of 
the States of the Province for the redress of such griev- 
ances), the town will make choice of a suitable number of 
persons to act for them as a Committee in Convention, with 
such as may be sent to join them from the several towns in 
the Province, in order that such measures might be concerted 
and advised as his majesty's service, and the peace and safety 
of his subjects in the Province, might require." 

" The representatives of Boston in the last General Court 
— Samuel Adams, John Hancock, James Otis, and Thomas 
Cushing — were chosen the committee or delegates for the 
Convention; and the selectmen, by the vote at the town- 
meeting, were required to send a circular letter to the select- 
men of the several towns in the Province, inviting them to 
join, and proposing the twenty-second day of September, 1768, 
for the day of the meeting of the Convention at Boston." 
This Convention met at Faneuil Hall, Sept. 22, 1768 ; and 
continued in session until the 29th, when they broke up. 

Governor Hutchinson, in volume three of his History, page 
205, says, " It must be allowed by all, that the proceedings of 
this meeting had a greater tendency towards a revolution in 
government than any preceding measures in any of the Colo- 
nies. The inhabitants of one town alone took upon them to 
convene an assembly from all the towns, that, in every thing 
but in name, would be a House of Representatives ; which, 
by the charter, the Governor had the sole authority of con- 

On page 206, the same writer remarks, " It was a bold 
attempt. A great part of the people of the Province re- 
ceived the account of it with concern, lest it should bring 
on the resentment of the kingdom, and the Province should 


be considered as in a state of rebellion. That it was a high 
offence, was generally agreed. Some would make the act of 
the selectmen of Boston to be treason ; and pains were taken 
to obtain and preserve some of the original letters signed by 
them. It was agreed, that the proceedings of the Conven- 
tion might aggravate the legal guilt of the promoters of it. 
About ninety towns, however, chose their committees. In 
many of them, those persons who had been representatives 
were willing to be excused on this occasion." 

It will be observed that this circular letter was addressed, 
on the outside, " To the Gentlemen Selectmen of' ; (in print) 
" Stoughtonham " (in writing) ; and on the inside, in the same 
words, all in writing. 

Stoughtonham was not then a town entitled to send a 
representative to the General Court, but a district taken from 
the territory of the town of Stoughton, and incorporated by 
an Act of the General Court, passed June 20, 1765. Stough- 
tonham then consisted of the territory, now the towns, of 
Sharon and Foxborough ; and had all the powers, privileges, 
and immunities of towns, " excepting only the privilege of 
sending a representative to the General Assembly ; " but 
having liberty from time to time to join with the town of 
Stoughton in the choice of a representative, who might be 
chosen indifferently from said town or district. 

This leads to the inquiry, how the several districts created 
in the Province from the beginning of the year 1754 to June, 
1774, became towns. It is commonly supposed that districts 
were first made towns by the ninth section of the Act passed 
March 23, 1786, entitled " An Act for regulating Towns and 
setting forth their Power, and for the Choice of Town-officers,' 7 
&c. But this is a mistake ; for the first General Court of 
the Revolution, which met at Watertown, July 19, 1775, 
by the third section of an Act entitled " An Act declaratory 
of the Right of certain Towns and Districts in the Colony of 
the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, to elect and depute 


a Representative, " &g., — which passed the House to be en- 
grossed, and was sent up to the Council, Aug. 17, 1775; and 
which became a law on or before Aug. 24, 1775, — enacted 
and declared, that every district "shall henceforth be, and 
shall be, holden, taken, and intended to be, a town to all intents 
and purposes whatsoever. " 

Accordingly, it will be seen, on opening the records of all 
such towns as were districts before, that after that time, and 
at the next meeting of the General Court in May, 1777, they, 
for the first time, sent their representatives to the General 
Court as towns ; having duly elected them, independently of 
the towns to which they had been before attached for choos- 
ing a representative. The address (in writing) inside, so far 
as relates to the name of the town, and the address outside, 
of this circular letter, are in a handwriting different from that 
of either of the selectmen subscribers ; and were probably 
written by a clerk, to whom the selectmen handed over the 
same for direction. The name of Stoughtonham was changed 
to Sharon by an Act passed Feb. 25, 1783. 

It will be noted that the first Provincial Congress, on the 
day of dissolving, — ■ Dec. 9, 1774, — recommended to the 
several towns and districts to elect members to represent 
them at the next Provincial Congress, to be held Feb. 1, 
1775 ; which they, both towns and districts, did. 

Mr. Robbins, at the request of Dr. Blagden, who was 
absent, presented to the Society the correspondence of 
the Hon. Peter Parker and the Hon. Robert McLane, 
commissioners in China, with the Department of State 
of the United States, from the 26th of October, 1853, to 
the 7th of August, 1857, — a donation from Hon. Peter 
Parker, through the hands of Dr. Blagden. Whereupon 
it was Voted, That the thanks of the Society be pre- 
sented to the Hon. Peter Parker for his acceptable gift. 


Mr. Saltonstall presented to the Society, on behalf 
of Samuel T. Snow, Esq., of Boston, a copperplate 
engraving of the Declaration of Independence, by an 
unknown artist ; together with the copperplate itself. 
Mr. Saltonstall stated that these plates were left by a 
party of play-actors, many years ago, with an inn- 
keeper, in payment of their board ; who, after keeping 
them for twenty years, brought them to Boston. Voted, 
That the thanks of the Society be presented to Samuel 
T. Snow, Esq., for his valuable donation. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day (Thursday), the 8th day of December, at twelve 
o'clock, noon, at the rooms of the Society, Tremont 
Street, Boston; Hon. David Sears, one of the Vice- 
Presidents, in the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Eecording Secre- 
tary announced donations from the Indiana Historical 
Society; New-England Female Medical College; Brown 
University ; the Trustees of the Public Library of Bos- 
ton ; Henry C. Van Schaack, Esq. ; J. Smith Homans, 
Esq. ; Rev. E. M. Stone ; Hon. Peter Parker ; Rev. W. 
B. Sprague, D.D. ; Rev. George Mooar ; Rev. Caleb D. 
Bradlee ; Thomas Lee, Esq. ; Samuel A. Green, M.D. ; 
E. L. O. Roehrig, Esq. ; Hon. Thomas B. Florence ; B. 
P. Johnson, Esq. ; R. A. Guild, Esq. ; and from Messrs. 


Felt, Quincy, Robbins, Sabine, Sears, and Whitney, of 
the Society. 

Mr. Ames communicated the following transcript 
from the records of the district of " Stoughtonham," 
in addition to the paper read by him at the last meet- 
ing : — 

" At a district meeting legally assembled and held in the 
district of Stoughtonham, on the twenty-first day of Septem- 
ber, A.D. 1768, Mr. Edmund Quincy was chosen moderator, 
and sworn. 

" The same day, sundry votes lately passed by the town 
of Boston, together with a letter from the selectmen of the 
said town, were read, proposing a General Convention, to be 
held at Faneuil Hall, in Boston, on the twenty-second day of 
September, A.D. 1768. Mr. Job Swift was chosen to appear 
at the above-said Convention. 

" Attest, " Daniel Richakds, 

" District Clerk." 

Mr. Livermore read interesting extracts from a letter 
recently received from the President of the Society, 
Hon. R. C. Winthrop, now in Vienna. 

Mr. Sears invited the Society to hold an evening 
meeting at his house, on Beacon Street, on Thursday 

On motion of Mr. Washburn, the invitation of Mr. 
Sears was accepted. 

An animated conversation, on subjects connected with 
the communication of Mr. Ames, engaged the attention 
of the meeting. 



A special meeting of the Society was held this evening, 
(Thursday), the 15th of December, at the residence of 
the Hon. David Sears, in Beacon Street. 

Mr. Sears, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Society, 
on taking the chair at eight o'clock, announced, in ap- 
propriate terms 5 that the purpose of the meeting was to 
take some action relative to the death of Washington 
Irving, an Honorary Member of the Society. 

Mr. Longfellow, in offering a series of commemora- 
tive resolutions, prefaced them with the following re- 
marks : — 


Every reader has his first book: I mean to say, one book, 
among all others, which, in early youth, first fascinates his 
imagination, and at once excites and satisfies the desires of 
his mind. To me, this first book was the "Sketch-Book" 
of Washington Irving. I was a schoolboy when it was pub- 
lished, and read each succeeding number with ever-increasing 
wonder and delight, — spell-bound by its pleasant humor, its 
melancholy tenderness, its atmosphere of revery ; nay, even 
by its gray-brown covers, the shaded letters of the titles, and 
the fair, clear type, — which seemed an outward symbol 
of the style. 

How many delightful books the same author has given us, 
written before and since, — volumes of history and of fiction, 
most of which illustrate his native land, and some of which 
illuminate it, and make the Hudson, I will not say as classic, 
but as romantic, as the Rhine ! Yet still the charm of the 



" Sketch-Book " remains unbroken ; the old fascination still 
lingers about it ; and, whenever I open its pages, I open also 
that mysterious door which leads back into the haunted 
chambers of youth. 

Many years afterward, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. 
Irving in Spain ; and found the author, whom I had loved, 
repeated in the man, — the same playful humor, the same 
touches of sentiment, the same poetic atmosphere, and, what 
I admired still more, the entire absence of all literary jealousy, 
of all that mean avarice of fame, which counts what is given 
to another as so much taken from one's self, — 

" And, rustling, hears in every breeze 
The laurels of Miltiades." 

At this time, Mr. Irving was at Madrid, engaged upon his 
" Life of Columbus;" and, if the work itself did not bear 
ample testimony to his zealous and conscientious labor, I 
could do so from personal observation. He seemed to be 
always at work. " Sit down/' he would say : " I will talk 
with you in a moment ; but I must first finish this sentence." 

One summer morning, passing his house at the early hour 
of six, I saw his study-window already wide open. On my 
mentioning it to him afterwards, he said, " Yes : I am always 
at my work as early as six." Since then, I have often re- 
membered that sunny morning and that open window, so sug- 
gestive of his sunny temperament and his open heart, and 
equally so of his patient and persistent toil; and have recalled 
those striking words of Dante : — 

" Seggendo in piuma, 
In fama non si vien, ne sotto coltre; 

Senza la qual, chi sua vita consuma, 
Cotal vestigio in terra, di se lascia 
Qual fummo in aere ed in acqua la sehiuma." 

" Seated upon down, 
Or in his bed, man cometh not to fame; 

Withouten which, whoso his life consumes, 
Such vestige of himself on earth shall leave 
As smoke in air and in the water foam." 


Remembering these things, I esteem it a great though 
a melancholy privilege to lay upon his hearse the passing 
tribute of these resolutions : — 

Resolved, That while we deeply deplore the death of our friend and 
associate, Washington Irving, we rejoice in the completeness of his life 
and labors, which, closing together, have left behind them so sweet a 
fame, and a memory so precious. 

Resolved, That we feel a just pride in his renown as an author; not 
forgetting, that, to his other claims upon our gratitude, he adds also 
that of having been the first to win for our country an honorable name 
and position in the history of letters. 

Resolved, That we hold in affectionate remembrance the noble 
example of his long literary career; extending through half a century 
of unremitted labors, graced with all the amenities of authorship, and 
marred by none of its discords and contentions. 

Resolved, That, as members of this Historical Society, we regard 
with especial honor and admiration his Lives of Columbus, the Dis- 
coverer, and of Washington, the Father, of our country. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to his 
family, with the expression of our deepest and sincerest sympathy. 

The resolutions were seconded by Mr. Everett, and 
supported by Messrs. Aspinwall, Felton, and Holmes. 


I cordially concur in the resolutions which Mr. Longfellow 
has submitted to the Society. They do no more than justice 
to the merits and character of Mr. Irving as a man and as a 
writer ; and it is to me, sir, a very pleasing circumstance, that 
a tribute like this to the Nestor of the prose writers of 
America — so just and so happily expressed — should be 
paid by the most distinguished of our American poets. 

If the year 1769 is memorable above every other of 
the last century for the number of eminent men to which 
it gave birth, the year 1859 is thus far signalized in this 


century for the number of bright names which it has taken 
from us ; and surely that of Washington Irving may be 
accounted with the brightest on the list. 

It is eminently proper that we should take a respectful 
notice of his decease. He has stood for many years on the 
roll of our Honorary Members ; and he has enriched the lite- 
rature of the country with two first-class historical works, 
which, although from their subjects they possess a peculiar 
attraction for the people of the United States, are yet, in 
general interest, second to no contemporary works in that 
department of literature. I allude, of course, to the " History 
of the Life and Voyages of Columbus," and the "Life of 

Although Mr. Irving's devotion to literature as a profes- 
sion — and a profession pursued with almost unequalled 
success — was caused by untoward events, which, in ordi- 
nary cases, would have proved the ruin of a life, a rare good 
fortune attended his literary career. Without having received 
a collegiate education, and destined first to the legal profes- 
sion, which he abandoned as uncongenial, he had, in very 
early life, given promise of attaining a brilliant reputation as 
a writer. Some essays from his pen attracted notice before 
he had reached his majority. A few years later, the numbers 
of the " Salmagundi," to which he was a principal contributor, 
enjoyed a success, throughout the United States, far beyond 
any former similar work, and not surpassed, if equalled, by 
any thing which has since appeared. 

This was followed by " Knickerbocker's History of New 
York," which at once placed Mr. Irving at the head of 
American humorists. In the class of compositions to which 
it belongs, I know of nothing happier than this work in our 
language. It has probably been read as widely, and with as 
keen a relish, as any thing from Mr. Irving's pen. It would 
seem cynical to subject a work of this kind to an austere 
commentary, — at least, while we are paying a tribute to the 


memory of its lamented author ; but I may be permitted to 
observe, that, while this kind of humorous writing fits well 
with the joyous temperament of youth, in the first flush of 
successful authorship, and is managed by Mr. Irving with 
great delicacy and skill, it is still, in my opinion, better 
adapted for a jeu d'esprit in a magazine than for a work of 
considerable compass. To travesty an entire history seems 
to me a mistaken effort of ingenuity, and not well applied to 
the countrymen of William of Orange, Grotius, the De Witts, 
and Van Tromp. 

This work first made Mr. Irving known in Europe. His 
friend Mr. Henry Brevoort, one of the associate wits of the 
"Salmagundi," had sent a copy of it to Sir Walter Scott, — 
himself chiefly known, at that time, as the most popular of the 
English poets of the day ; though, as such, beginning to be out- 
shone by the fresher brightness of Byron's inspiration. Scott, 
though necessarily ignorant of the piquant allusions to topics 
of contemporary interest, and wholly destitute of sympathy 
with the spirit of the work, entered fully into its humor as a 
literary effort, and spoke of it with discrimination and warmth. 
His letter to Mr. Henry Brevoort is now in the possession of 
his son, our esteemed corresponding associate, Mr. J. Carson 
Brevoort ; to whose liberality we are indebted for the curious 
panoramic drawing of the military works in the environs of 
Boston, executed by a British officer in 1775, which I have 
had the pleasure, on behalf of Mr. Brevoort, of tendering to 
the Society this evening. Mr. Carson Brevoort has caused 
a lithographic facsimile of Sir Walter Scott's letter to be 
executed; and of this interesting relic he also offers a copy 
to the acceptance of the Society. The letter has been 
inserted in the very instructive article on Mr. Irving in 
Allibone's invaluable " Dictionary of English and American 
Authors ; " but as it is short, and may not be generally 
known to the Society, I will read it from the facsimile : — 


My dear Sir, — I beg you to accept my best thanks for the 
uncommon degree of entertainment which I have received from the 
most excellent jocose history of New York. I am sensible, that, as 
a stranger to American parties and politics, I must lose much of 
the concealed satire of the piece ; but I must own, that, looking at 
the simple and obvious meaning only, I have never read any thing so 
closely resembling the style of Dean Swift as the annals of Diedrich 
Knickerbocker. I have been employed these few evenings in reading 
them aloud to Mrs. S., and two ladies who are our guests ; and our 
sides have been absolutely sore with laughing. I think, too, there 
are passages which indicate that the author possesses powers of a 
different kind, and has some touches which remind me much of 
Sterne. I beg you will have the kindness to let me know when 
Mr. Irving takes pen in hand again ; for, assuredly, I shall expect 
a very great treat, which I may chance never to hear of but through 
your kindness. 

Believe me, dear sir, your obliged, humble servant, 

Walter Scott. 
Abbotsford, 23d April, 1813. 

After Mr. Irving had been led to take up his residence 
abroad, and to adopt literature as a profession and a liveli- 
hood, — a resource to which he was driven by the failure of 
the commercial house of his relatives, of which he was 
nominally a partner, — he produced, in rapid succession, a 
series of works which stood the test of English criticism, 
and attained a popularity not surpassed — hardly equalled — 
by that of any of his European contemporaries. This fact, 
besides being attested by the critical journals of the day, 
may be safely inferred from the munificent prices paid by 
the great London bookseller, the elder Murray, for the copy- 
right of several of his productions. He wrote, among other 
subjects, of English manners, sports, and traditions, — national 
traits of character, — certainly the most difficult topics for a 
foreigner to treat : and he wrote at a time when Scott was 
almost annually sending forth one of his marvellous novels ; 
when the poetical reputation of Moore, Byron, Campbell, and 


Rogers, was at the zenith ; and the public appetite was con- 
sequently fed almost to satiety by these familiar domestic 
favorites. But, notwithstanding these disadvantages and 
obstacles to success, he rose at once to a popularity of the 
most brilliant and enviable kind ; and this, too, in a branch 
of literature which had not been cultivated with distinguished 
success in England since the time of Goldsmith, and, with 
the exception of Goldsmith, not since the clays of Addison 
and Steele. 

Mr. Irving's manner is often compared with Addison's ; 
though, closely examined, there is no great resemblance 
between them, except that they both write in a simple, 
unaffected style, remote from the tiresome stateliness of 
Johnson and Gibbon. It was one of the witty but rather 
ill-natured sayings of Mr. Samuel Rogers, whose epigrams 
sometimes did as much injustice to his own kind and gene- 
rous nature as they did to the victims of his pleasantry, that 
Washington Irving was Addison and Water, — a judgment 
which, if seriously dealt with, is altogether aside from the 
merits of the two writers, who have very little in common. 
Addison had received a finished classical education at the 
Charter-House and at Oxford ; was eminently a man of books, 
and had a decided taste for literary criticism. Mr. Irving, 
for a man of letters, was not a great reader ; and, if he 
possessed the critical faculty, never exercised it. Addison 
quoted the Latin poets freely, and wrote correct Latin verses 
himself. Mr. Irving made no pretensions to a familiar ac- 
quaintance with the classics, and probably never made a 
hexameter in his life. Addison wrote some smooth English 
poetry, which Mr. Irving, I believe, never attempted ; but, 
with the exception of two or three exquisite hymns (which 
will last as long as the English language does), one brilliant 
simile of six lines in the " Campaign," and one or two sen- 
tentious but not very brilliant passages from Cato, not a line 
of Addison's poetry has been quoted for a hundred years. 


But Mr. Irving's peculiar vein of humor is not inferior in 
playful raciness to Addison's ; his nicety of characterization 
is quite equal; his judgment upon all moral relations as sound 
and true ; his human sympathies more comprehensive, ten- 
derer and chaster ; and his poetical faculty, though never 
developed in verse, vastly above Addison's. One chord in 
the human heart, — the pathetic, — for whose sweet music 
Addison had no ear, Irving touched with the hand of a 
master. He learned that skill in the school of early dis- 

In this respect, the writer was, in both cases, reflected in 
the man. Addison, after a protracted suit, made an " ambi- 
tious match " with a termagant peeress. Irving, who would 
as soon have married Hecate as a woman like the Countess of 
Warwick, buried a blighted hope, never to be rekindled, in 
the grave of a youthful sorrow. 

As miscellaneous essayists, in which capacity only they 
can be compared, Irving exceeds Addison in versatility and 
range, quite as much as Addison exceeds Irving in the far 
less important quality of classical tincture ; while, as a great 
national historian, our countryman reaped laurels in a field 
which Addison never entered. 

Mr. Irving's first great historical work, the " Life and 
Voyages of Columbus," appeared at London and New York 
in 1828. Being at Bordeaux in the winter of 1825-6, he 
received a letter from Mr. Alexander H. Everett, then Mini- 
ster of the United States in Spain, informing him that a 
work was passing through the press, containing a collection 
of documents relative to the voyages of Columbus ; among 
which were many, of a highly important nature, recently dis- 
covered in the public archives. This was the now well- 
known work of Navarrete, the Secretary of the Royal Spanish 
Academy of History. Mr. Everett, in making this communi- 
cation to Mr. Irving, suggested that the translation of Navar- 
rete's volumes into English, by some American scholar, would 


be very desirable. Mr. Irving concurred in this opinion, and, 
having previously intended to visit Madrid, shortly afterwards 
repaired to that capital, with a view to undertake the pro- 
posed translation. 

Navarrete's collection was published soon after Mr. Irving's 
arrival at Madrid ; and finding it rich in original documents 
hitherto unknown, which threw additional light on the dis- 
covery of America, he conceived the happy idea (instead of a 
simple translation) of preparing from them, and other materials, 
liberally placed at his disposal, in the public and private libra- 
ries of Spain, — and especially that of Mr. Obadiah Eich, our 
Consul at Valencia, with whom Mr. Irving was domesticated 
at Madrid, and who possessed a collection of manuscripts 
and books of extreme value, — a new history of the greatest 
event of modern times, drawn up in the form of a Life of 
Columbus. He addressed himself with zeal and assiduity to 
the execution of this happy conception ; and, in about two 
years, the work, in four octavo volumes, was ready for the 
press. When it is considered that much of the material was 
to be drawn from ancient manuscripts and black-letter chro- 
nicles in a foreign tongue, it is a noble monument of the 
industry as well as the literary talent of its author. 

That these newly discovered materials for a life of Colum- 
bus, and a history of the great discovery, should have fallen 
directly into the hands of an American writer so well quali- 
fied to make a good use of them as Mr. Irving, and that 
the credit of producing the first adequate memorial of this 
all-important event should have been thus secured to the 
United States by their most popular author, is certainly a 
very pleasing co-incidence. 

The limits of this occasion require me to pass over two or 
three popular works of a light cast, for which Mr. Irving 
collected the materials while carrying on his historical re- 
searches in Spain, as also those which issued from his indus- 
trious and fertile pen after his return to the United States in 



1832. At this period of his life, he began seriously to con- 
template the preparation of his last great production, — the 
" Life of Washington." This subject had been pressed upon 
him, while he was yet in Europe, by Mr. Archibald Constable, 
the celebrated publisher at Edinburgh ; and Mr. Irving deter- 
mined to undertake it as soon as his return to America should 
bring him within reach of the necessary documents. Various 
circumstances concurred to prevent the execution of the 
project at this time; especially his appointment as Minister to 
Spain, and his residence in that country from 1842 to 1846. 
On his return to America, at the close of his mission, he 
appears to have applied himself diligently to the long-medi- 
tated undertaking ; though he proceeded but slowly, at first, 
in its execution. The first volume appeared in 1855, and the 
four following in rapid succession. The work was finally com- 
pleted the present year, — fit close of the life of its illustrious 
author, and of a literary career of such rare brilliancy and 

It would be altogether a work of supererogation to engage 
in any general commentary on the merits of Mr. Irving's two 
great historical works ; and the occasion is not appropriate for 
a critical analysis of them. They have taken a recognized 
place in the historical literature of the age, and stand, by all 
confession, in the front rank of those works of history, of 
which this century, and especially this country, has been so 
honorably prolific. Reserving a distinguished place apart 
for the venerable name of Marshall, Mr. Irving leads the long 
line of American historians, — first in time, and not second 
in beauty of style, conscientious accuracy, and skilful arrange- 
ment of materials. As his two works treat respectively of 
themes, which, for purely American interest, stand at the 
head of all single subjects of historical research ; so there 
is no one of our writers to whom the united voice of the 
country would, with such cheerful unanimity, have intrusted 
their composition. 


From the time that he entered for life upon a literary 
career, Mr. Irving gave himself almost exclusively to its pur- 
suit. He filled the office of Charge d'Affaires for a short time 
in London, prior to his return to the United States ; and that 
of Minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846. His diplomatic 
despatches in that capacity are among the richest of the trea- 
sures which lie buried in the public archives at Washington. 

A more beautiful life than Mr. Irving's can hardly be 
imagined. Not uncheckered with adversity, his early trials, 
under the soothing influence of time, without subduing the 
natural cheerfulness of his disposition, threw over it a mellow 
tenderness, which breathes in his habitual trains of thought, 
and is reflected in the amenity of his style. His misfortunes 
in business, kindly overruled by a gracious Providence, laid 
the foundation of literary success, reputation, and prosperity. 
At two different periods of his career, he engaged in public 
life ; entering it without ambition, performing its duties with 
diligence and punctuality, and leaving it without regret. He 
was appointed Charge d'Affaires to London under General 
Jackson's administration, and Minister to Spain under Mr. 
Tyler's, — the only instances, perhaps, in this century, in 
which a distinguished executive appointment has been made 
without a thought as to the political opinions of the person 
appointed. Mr. Irving's appointment to Spain was made on 
the recommendation of Mr. Webster, who told me that he 
regarded it as one of the most honorable memorials of his 
administration of the Department of State. It was no doubt 
a pleasing circumstance to Mr. Irving, to return, in his 
advancing years, crowned with public honors, to the country 
where, in earlier life, he had pursued his historical studies 
with so much success, But public life had no attractions for 
him. The respect and affection of the community followed 
him to his retirement. He lived in prosperity, without an ill- 
wisher ; finished the work which was given him to do, amidst 
the blessings of his countrymen ; and died, amidst loving 
kindred, in honor and peace. 



Mr. President, — I speak by request, and should not 
otherwise have ventured to address you on the present occa- 
sion. It was my good fortune, sir, to make the acquaintance 
of Washington Irving in London, shortly after the termina- 
tion of our last war with Great Britain. This led to an 
intimacy, quite domestic at times ; and to years of cordial, 
unbroken friendship. In 1817, the mercantile establishment 
— which he had been kindly persuaded by his brother to 
join, that he might share its prosperity rather than the labor 
of the counting-house — had sunk under the pressure of 
unavoidable calamities ; and he, with his brother (Dr. Peter 
Irving), came to reside in London, where he resumed his pen, 
and manfully braced himself up to the task of gaining an 
honest independence. The period was not propitious. The 
irritation excited by the war had not ceased. English cri- 
tics and periodical writers, in obedience to the popular im- 
pulse, derided the scantiness of our literature, and seized 
upon an American book as if it were their prey, and not at 
all a theme or subject of fair, legitimate criticism. On the 
other hand, it was a marked peculiarity of Washington Irving 
to need sympathy, support, and cheering encouragement. 
When these were withheld, he was shorn of half his strength. 

It was under such disheartening circumstances that he 
began the " Sketch-Book." Writing, as it were, under the 
spur of necessity, he did not, as afterwards, when engaged 
upon other works of taste and imagination, wait for the 
moment of inspiration, but, oftentimes to the detriment of 
his health, toiled on incessantly, whether in the vein or not. 
Sensible that he was no longer in the midst of his old friends 
and countrymen, who had welcomed his previous works with 
rapturous applause, but in a community whose tolerance 



could hardly be hoped for, he earnestly strove, in the course 
of his " Sketch-Book," to forestall, to soften and propitiate, 
the prevailing adverse spirit, by gentle rebuke, and appeals to 
generous feelings of brotherhood. For still greater protec- 
tion, he took excessive pains to refine and perfect every 
sentence and every expression, until he considered it proof 
against cavil and derision. 

When the " Sketch-Book " was ready for publication, no 
London publisher of eminence would consent to bring it out. 
After part of it had appeared in numbers in the United 
States, Mr. Miller, the present despatch-agent of the Ameri- 
can Legation in London, but at that period a publisher and 
bookseller, undertook the publication at the author's expense. 
But scarcely had the first volume made its appearance, when 
Mr. Miller failed. Shortly after, at the friendly instance 
of Sir Walter Scott, Mr. Murray, who stood at the head of 
English publishers, bought the impression and British copy- 
right. Under his auspices, the " Sketch-Book " soon found 
its way to the libraries and drawing-rooms of the three king- 
doms. All classes of readers were fascinated by the beauty, 
and the malignity of criticism was disarmed by the humor, of 
the book. The author was overwhelmed by civilities from 
all quarters, — from the wise, the good, and the great, who 
sought to know and to honor him ; and from the manoeu- 
vring aspirants of the fashionable circles, who merely sought 
to make their houses more attractive by showing him up as 
a lion. To be thus singled out, and exposed to the pub- 
lic gaze, or, indeed, to be placed at any time in a conspi- 
cuous station before an assemblage, was his utter aversion. 
To escape such annoyances, he would often take refuge with 
his friends or family connections in the country. It was in 
an excursion of this sort, — I believe, from Birmingham to 
Oxford, — in company with his distinguished friend Leslie, 
the artist, that he wrought out, on the top of a stage-coach, 
his inimitable burlesque, " The Stout Gentleman." 


It is not my purpose, Mr. President, to enter into any criti- 
cism of Mr. Irving's works ; that subject has been exhausted 
by the able and comprehensive comments of our eminent 
colleagues (Mr. Longfellow and Mr. Everett) who have pre- 
ceded me : but I would advert merely to the charge of ana- 
chronism which was brought against the li Sketch-Book." It 
was boldly said, that Mr. Irving had portrayed, as existing, 
English manners and customs that had been borrowed from 
the bygone days and writings of Addison and Steele, but 
were now utterly unknown and obsolete. Nothing is more 
untrue. He described what still exists, and what he had, 
and his Scotch critic had not, seen. Mr. Irving was no 
plagiarist. In regard to all proper subjects of description, 
and all that may be derived from observation, few writers 
have been so completely independent of extraneous aid as 
Washington Irving. Nothing seems to escape his notice. 
The narratives of his own adventures on the prairies and 
elsewhere, furnish, in every page, proofs of the vigilance and 
acuteness of his observation. His other more imaginative 
writings abound in instances, as all his friends know, of 
character, manners, and incidents drawn from life. His 
quick sense of the ludicrous was always in unison with the 
genuine kindness of his heart. He makes his portraits of 
character laughable, but generally contrives to secure our 
good- will for the individual portrayed. 

Such of the works of Washington Irving as were written 
out of England after 1824 were confided to my disposal, and 
published under contracts made by me as his agent. Hence 
I am able to state, that, in his transactions, he had all the tact, 
promptitude, and exactness of a trained man of business ; and 
also, that, owing to his amiable, upright, and liberal demeanor 
under all exigencies, a long intercourse between him, his 
publishers, and myself, continued to the end, unclouded even 
by a shade of dissatisfaction. 

It would not become me, sir, to advert to Mr. Irving's 


diplomatic career, after the ample and honorable tribute paid 
to his merits by so accomplished a diplomatist and statesman 
as our distinguished colleague (Mr. Everett) ; but I would 
merely say, that, when he was Charge d'Affaires in London, 
such was the mutual confidence and cordial good-will sub- 
sisting between him and the corps of the Foreign Office, that 
he often drew up his reply to the minister's despatch in the 
office itself, and in concert with those w T ho would commonly 
be regarded as his standing antagonists, but who were in 
truth, to the end of life, his fast friends. 

His frank, affable, unassuming deportment, the purity of 
his life, his refined intelligence, and his quiet and cheerful 
pleasantry, made him welcome everywhere ; and he, in turn, 
appreciated very highly the hospitalities and social inter- 
course which he enjoyed in England. But the favorite scene 
of his hours of relaxation was among children who had once 
known him and his amusing frolics and stories. He was 
always sure to be welcomed, at the first glimpse, with shouts 
of delight from the little merry group that rushed to him, 
hung upon his skirts, and clamored for another repetition of 
some thrice-told nursery-tale of his own invention. 

A more touching example of fraternal affection than that 
which bound Washington Irving and his brothers together, 
the world has seldom witnessed. When Peter and Washing- 
ton lived together in London, in modest apartments in 
Edward Street, Foley Place, the little daily stratagems, and 
efforts of self-sacrifice, of each, for the comfort of the other, 
were frequently the admiration of their friends and country- 
men. Both were industriously engaged in literary labors; 
but the earnings all went into one purse. 

In after-years, when in Spain, Peter, in the hope of aiding 
his brother, and to spare him an irksome toil, heedless of all 
fame or reward, devoted himself to the task of collecting and 
arranging materials from books, manuscripts, and documents, 
and to making preliminary investigations, connected with the 


life of Columbus. Of this service he would not suffer the 
slightest notice to be given. 

When his brothers were prosperous, every want of Wash- 
ington's was gladly supplied, — even, as he said, for all his 
foolish youthful extravagances. When they were borne 
down by reverses, his purse, his home, his heart, was theirs. 
I shall never forget the tone of exultation in which he gave 
vent to his joy at being able to make some return for the 
thousand kindnesses of his prince of brothers, Ebenezer. 

We may well imagine how severely the blow, which we 
all deplore, has fallen on the amiable and intellectual family 
circle which he had gathered under his roof; and how forlorn 
and desolate to them their home must be in the absence of 
him who was its light, ornament, and support, and the idol 
of their affections. 

Mr. President, all will lament his death as a heavy loss to 
the nation and to the literary world ; but there are thousands, 
here and abroad, who will mourn for him as a departed bro- 
ther, who never made an enemy nor lost a friend. 


Mr. President, — After the just and eloquent tributes to 
Mr. Irving, I rise to express, in the simplest and most infor- 
mal manner, my hearty sympathy with the feeling which has 
called this meeting together. We seem to be standing in a 
field of battle. The great leaders of thought, one after an- 
other, in rapid succession, are falling around us ; the brightest 
stars are going down ; and we, who have so long watched their 
courses through the heavens, find it hard to turn our gaze in 
the opposite direction, and to worship the new luminaries, 
however brilliant their rising. It is but a few months since 
we came together to sympathize with one another in the 
sudden loss of the great historian, who had done so much 
honor to the literature of our country by his masterly works, 


and who was so beloved as a friend. Later we followed to 
the tomb the advocate and statesman, whose vivid eloquence 
had so long delighted the court, the senate, and the popular 

And, now, the most venerable of our men of letters, the 
graceful essayist, the brilliant writer of fiction, the delightful 
biographer and historian, the genial and generous friend, 
whose whole life has been loyal to the sacred Muses ; the 
man who never had an enemy ; the author who never wrote 
a line, which, dying, he could wish to blot, — has closed the 
varied scene of his labors. Ripe in age, crowned with the 
warmest affections of his countrymen and of the whole lite- 
rary world, he has gone from among us ; and we shall see his 
face no more. Such an event, while it cannot surprise us, 
excites our sensibility, and naturally touches the heart. The 
tears we shed are a tribute to our common humanity. It 
soothes our grief to listen to the warm and tender tributes, 
paid from every quarter, to the memory of such a man ; and 
we bless the elevating influence of the hour, when the orator 
and the poet, moved by the generous impulse of kindred 
natures, console the common sorrow by giving fit expression 
to the common admiration and love. 

Who did not know Washington Irving, if not personally, in 
his works ? Who, that read any thing, did not read his beau- 
tiful books ? Who, that read them, ever failed to find there, 
not only entertainment for the passing hour, but the enno- 
bling influence of refined and generous thoughts pervading 
his mind for ever after? His English style, so pure, so deli- 
cate, so clear, so rhythmical, — the natural expression of a 
pure, beautiful, and harmonious soul, exquisitely attuned to 
all that is lovely, graceful, and noble in nature and life, — em- 
bodying a character painted in immortal colors by the genius 
of Plato ; his imagination, so gentle and so powerful, that 
brightened every thing it touched, as the genial sunshine 
kindles the landscape into beauty ; his ready and delightful 



wit and humor, that exhilarated us, not with tumultuous 
laughter, except, perhaps, in those sallies of the sportive 
genius of his youth, so happily touched upon by Mr. Everett, 
but with a serene gladness of spirit ; his pathos, so tender, so 
true, so full of feeling for every form of sorrow, toned with a 
sweet, lingering sadness from the unforgotten sorrow of his 
early days, — what a combination of attractive qualities, 
adorning his personal character, and clothing his literary 
works with an inexpressible charm ! 

The personal associations of all, who ever had the happi- 
ness of knowing Mr. Irving, tell the same story. I recall 
with pleasure the fact, that, more than twenty years ago, I 
was indebted to my friend Mr. Longfellow — the mover of 
the resolutions on your table — for a letter of introduction 
to him, when making a visit to New York. I shall never 
forget the impression he then made upon me by his pleasant 
and cordial manners, the sprightliness of his conversation, 
and the unaffected friendliness, wholly free from any air of 
condescension, with which he placed me at ease, conversing 
as gentleman with gentleman ; though he was the writer, 
world-renowned, and I was, till then, unknown to him by name. 
The acquaintance thus begun was maintained by social inter- 
course from time to time, and by occasional correspondence ; 
and I can truly say, that his conversation, his letters, and his 
published writings, have always breathed the same modest, 
gentle, and generous spirit, utterly free from the jealous 
rivalries that sometimes mar the literary character, and har- 
monizing perfectly with his daily life, as portrayed to us this 
evening by the gallant soldier (Col. Aspinwall), who was so 
long his intimate and loving friend. 

Allow me, Mr. President, to recall two or three little inci- 
dents, that may serve to illustrate some of the aspects of his 
character. The time when I saw the most of Mr. Irving was 
the winter of 1842, during the visit of Charles Dickens in New 
York. I had known this already distinguished writer in 


Boston and Cambridge ; and, while passing some weeks with 
my dear and lamented friend Albert Sumner, I renewed my 
acquaintance with Mr. Dickens, often meeting him in the 
brilliant literary society which then made New York a most 
agreeable resort. Halleck, Bryant, Washington Irving, Davis, 
and others scarcely less attractive by their genius, wit, and 
social graces, constituted a circle not to be surpassed any- 
where in the world. I passed much of the time with Mr. 
Irving and Mr. Dickens ; and it was delightful to witness the 
cordial intercourse of the young man, in the flush and glory 
of his fervent genius, and his elder compeer, then in the 
assured possession of immortal renown. Dickens said, in his 
frank, hearty manner, that, from his childhood, he had known 
the works of Irving ; and that, before he thought of coming 
to this country, he had received a letter from him, expressing 
the delight he felt in reading the story of little Nell ; and from 
that day they had shaken hands autographically across the 
Atlantic. Great and varied as was the genius of Mr. Irving, 
there was one thing he shrunk with a comical terror from 
attempting ; and that was a dinner-sjieecli. A great dinner, 
however, was to be given to Mr. Dickens in New York, as 
one had already been given in Boston ; and it was evident to 
all, that no man but Washington Irving could be thought of 
to preside. With all his dread of making a speech, he was 
obliged to obey the universal call, and to accept the painful 
pre-eminence. I saw him daily during the interval of prepa- 
ration, either at the lodgings of Dickens, or at dinner or 
evening parties. I hope I showed no want of sympathy with 
his forebodings ; but I could not help being amused with the 
tragi-comical distress which the thought of that approaching 
dinner caused him. His pleasant humor mingled with the 
real dread, and played with the whimsical horrors of his own 
position with an irresistible drollery. Whenever it was 
alluded to, his invariable answer was, " I shall certainly break 
down ! " — uttered in a half-melancholy tone, the ludicrous 


effect of which it is impossible to describe. He was haunted, 
as if by a nightmare ; and I could only compare his dismay 
to that of Mr. Pickwick, who was so alarmed at the prospect 
of leading about that " dreadful horse " all day. At length, 
the long-expected evening arrived ; a company of the most 
eminent persons, from all the professions and every walk of 
life, were assembled ; and Mr. Irving took the chair. I had 
gladly accepted an invitation ; making it, however, a condi- 
tion that I should not be called upon to speak : a thing I then 
dreaded quite as much as Mr. Irving himself. The direful 
compulsions of life have since helped me to overcome, in 
some measure, the post-prandial fright. Under the circum- 
stances, — an invited guest, with no impending speech, — I sat 
calmly, and watched with interest the imposing scene. I had 
the honor to be placed next but one to Mr. Irving, and the 
great pleasure of sharing in his conversation. He had 
brought the manuscript of his speech, and laid it under his 
plate. " I shall certainly break down," he repeated over and 
over again. At last, the moment arrived. Mr. Irving rose, 
and was received with deafening and long-continued applause, 
which by no means lessened his apprehension. He began in 
his pleasant voice ; got through two or three sentences pretty 
easily, but in the next hesitated; and, after one or two attempts 
to go on, gave it up, with a graceful allusion to the tournament, 
and the troops of knights all armed and eager for the fray ; 
ended with the toast, " Charles Dickens, the guest of the na- 
tion." " There," said he, as he resumed his seat under a re- 
petition of the applause which had saluted his rising, — " there, 
I told you I should break down; and I've done it." There cer- 
tainly never was made a shorter after-dinner speech : I doubt if 
there ever was a more successful one. The manuscript seemed 
to be a dozen or twenty pages long ; but the printed speech was 
not as many lines. I suppose that manuscript may be still in ex- 
istence ; and, if so, I wish it might be published. Mr. Irving 
often spoke with a good-humored envy of the felicity with 


which Dickens always acquitted himself on such occasions. 
In the following spring, Irving went to England ; and, being 
in London in May, he was, of course, invited to the annual 
dinner of the Literary Fund Society : but he was followed 
by the memory of the Dickens Dinner, and declined. One of 
the most amusing pages in the diary of Thomas Moore is the 
record of his conversation with Irving on the subject, and 
the final success of his endeavors to persuade him to go. 
" That Dickens dinner" says Moore, " which he always pro- 
nounced with strong emphasis, hammering away all the time 
with his right arm, more suo, — that Dickens dinner still 
haunted his imagination; and I almost gave up all hope of 
persuading him." But he succeeded. He closes his record 
with the philosophical reflection, that " it is very odd, that, 
while some of the shallowest fellows go on so glib and ready 
with the tongue, men whose minds are abounding with matter 
should find such difficulty in bringing it out. I found that 
Lockhart also had declined attending the dinner, under a simi- 
lar apprehension ; and only consented on condition that his 
health should not be given." 

I felt a particular interest in the sequel of this dinner his- 
tory ; for, some years later, I had a whimsical adventure with 
that same Literary Fund Anniversary myself. Haud inex- 

The crowning work of Mr. Irving's literary life — con- 
necting his literary fame, as his baptismal name had from his 
infancy connected him, with the Father of his country - — was, 
of course, the " Life of Washington." Every American must 
have hailed with no common delight a work on such a sub- 
ject, from such a pen. I have read but few books in my life 
with so deep an interest as ,1 read the successive volumes of 
that most faithful yet brilliant and picturesque biography. 
The genius of the author and the character of the man 
seemed to me to shine with peculiar brightness from its 
enchanting pages. In the description of life in Virginia, 


during Washington's youth, Irving's power of word-painting 
is beautifully shown. In the sketches of the frontier wars, in 
which the youthful hero bore so conspicuous a part; in the 
tragedy of Braddock's rash expedition ; in the military narra- 
tives of the Revolution ; in the presentation of Washington 
as the Chief Magistrate of the Republic ; in the picture of 
his retirement, and his peaceful death, — everywhere we feel 
the inspiration of genius working upon a congenial theme ; 
everywhere we discern a profound and loving appreciation 
of Washington's peerless character. 

In the second volume there is an account of Washington's 
residence at Cambridge, as Commander-in-chief of the Ameri- 
can Army. Mr. Irving was led into a slight mistake in refer- 
ence to the General's head-quarters. The records state that 
the President's house was assigned him for this purpose; mean- 
ing the President of the Provincial Congress of Massachu- 
setts : but Mr. Irving understood it to be the President of 
the University, and so stated. Feeling a great interest in the 
historical fame of the Cragie House, — the real head-quarters 
of the General, and at that time one of the most stately man- 
sions in Massachusetts, having been built for a Tory family of 
great wealth, — I took the liberty of calling Mr. Irving's atten- 
tion to the error, and of stating to him the leading facts in 
the subsequent history of the house ; its occupancy by Mr. 
Cragie, from whom it derives its present name ; more recently 
by Mr. Everett, Mr. Sparks, Judge Phillips, Mr. Worcester, 
and now — and, I trust, for many years to come — by the poet 
Longfellow. Mr. Irving immediately wrote me a most cordial 
letter, and, in a pleasant note to the next volume, made the 
correction. When the concluding volume appeared, I v/as 
confined to my bed with severe illness. This circumstance 
enabled me to read it continuously to the end ; and I would 
gladly have submitted to a much longer and more serious 
illness, if its pains could have been charmed away by another 
volume from the same magic pen. To me, under any cir- 


cumstances, the last volume would have had a powerful fasci- 
nation, not only because it sketched admirably the closing 
of Washington's great career, but because some elements 
of interest are interwoven here, that give delightful play 
to the author's gentle imagination. Nelly Custis " was now 
maturing into a lovely and attractive woman ; " and " these 
were among the poetic days of Mount Yernon, when its 
halls echoed to the tread of lovers." The pictures of ro- 
mance blend softly with the surrounding scenes ; and the 
tender genius of Irving, neither repressed by age nor cooled 
by the chills of approaching dissolution, sympathizes as warm- 
ly as ever with the joys and affections of the young. But I 
confess that I felt the charm of this volume, enhanced by the 
circumstances under which I read it, more powerfully than I 
had been affected by either of its predecessors. As soon as 
I was able to hold a pen, I could not resist the impulse to 
write Mr. Irving a letter of thanks for the gratification and 
benefit I had derived from it ; and as I knew that he was in 
feeble health, and must be exhausted by his recent labors, I 
begged him not to take the trouble of replying. I had writ- 
ten to gratify my own feelings, to express my own sense of 
obligation under peculiar circumstances, and not to impose 
on him the burden of sending an answer. 

But, notwithstanding this, only a few days elapsed before 
an answer came. The tone of the letter is so cordial, and 
the acknowledgment so warm towards me, that I have never 
read or shown it to any except one or two members of my own 
immediate family. I hesitated somewhat to bring it with me 
to-night; but, considering that it illustrates the peculiar 
sweetness and beauty of his character, I cast all personal 
scruples aside, and, with your permission, will read it now for 
the first time, hoping the members of the Society will look 
upon my act simply as what I intend it to be, — a most affec- 
tionate testimony to the incomparable loveliness of his temper, 
and the winning modesty of his judgment of himself. 


Sunnyside, May 17, 1859. 

My dear Sir, — I cannot sufficiently express to you how much I 
feel myself obliged by your very kind letter of the 12th instant, giving 
such a favorable notice of my last volume. I have been very much 
out of health of late, with my nerves in a sad state, and with occa- 
sional depression of spirits ; and, in this forlorn plight, had come to feel 
very dubious about the volume I had committed to the press. Your 
letter had a most salutary and cheering effect ; and your assurance, that 
the last volume had been to you of more absorbing interest than either 
of the others, carried a ray of joy to my heart : for I was sadly afraid 
the interest might be considered as falling off. 

Excuse the brevity of this letter ; for I am suffering to-day from 
the lingerings of a nervous complaint, from which I am slowly recover- 
ing: but I could not suffer another day to elapse without thanking 
you for correspondence which has a more balmy effect than any of my 
doctor's prescriptions. 

With great regard, 

I am, my dear Mr. Felton, 

Yours very truly, 

Washington Irving. 
Professor C. C. Felton. 

I happened afterwards to learn, from an intimate friend of 
Mr. Irving's family, that, at the moment my letter arrived, he 
was in a peculiar state of nervous depression, and had not 
yet received any of those cheering testimonies, which doubt- 
less came to him soon after, of the entire success of the 
concluding volume ; and this circumstance gave to my letter 
an exaggerated value in his judgment. That I happened to 
give a moment's pleasure to a man from whose genius I had 
enjoyed so much for many years, is a cherished recollection 
to me now, and will be as long as I live. 

Mr. Everett, in his elegant memoir, spoke of the vast 
extent of Mr. Irving's literary fame. It was only last week, 
Mr. President, that I received a package of books from friends 
of mine in Athens. On looking them over, I found one with 
the following title, in Greek : " Christopher Columbus ; a 


History of his Life and Voyages, according to Washington 
Irving" (Kara rdv 'Ovaaiyruva 'ipStyy). It is the translation of 
an abridgment of the original work, published in Athens 
only last year. And who, do you think, is the translator ? 
Why, no less a person than Mr. G-. A. Aristides, a Greek of 
Mitylene, — Sappho's home, — who vindicates his right to the 
name by the justice of his estimate of Mr. Irving. In a well 
and even classically written preface, after giving an account 
of the other works published in Europe on the life of Colum- 
bus, he says, " In the following } r ear (i.e., after the publi- 
cation of Navarrete's * Spanish Collections '), the illustrious 
Washington Irving, residing in Spain, and having at his 
disposal the materials already prepared, composed in four 
volumes the ' History of the Life and Adventures of Christo- 
pher Columbus. 7 This work met with a warm reception ; and 
within a few years, having been translated into the different 
languages, was circulated through Europe, and raised its 
author to the highest degree of fame." 

I have been pleased to find that Aristides has been able to 
transfer to his Greek the grace and amenity of Mr. Irving. 
His translation has qualities of style that would do no dis- 
credit to Xenophon himself. It is free and flowing, descrip- 
tive and luminous. In those remarkable chapters which 
record the anxieties and difficulties that beset the great 
commander in the trying days when he was approaching the 
coast of the hitherto undiscovered continent, and which con- 
tain such vivid descriptions of the aspects of nature, and the 
new wonders which, for the first time, met the eyes of the 
European navigators, Mr. Aristides finds his native Greek 
fully equal to the demand made upon its resources of expres- 

I have taken the liberty, Mr. President, to give these little 
details, in order to throw, if I might, a few side-lights upon 
Mr. Irving's character. The admirable memoir by Mr. Eve- 
rett, the beautiful and discriminating remarks with which Mr. 



Longfellow introduced the appropriate series of resolutions 
on your table, and the interesting details, given with so much 
manly tenderness of feeling, by Col. Aspinwall, left nothing to 
be desired ; but I could not hesitate a moment to add the 
expression of my concurrence in the honors they have so fit- 
tingly paid to the virtues and genius of Washington Irving. 

I am struck, Mr. President, by the harmony of the final 
scene with the gentle tenor of Mr. Irving's life. He died, as 
he lived, the favored of Heaven, and the beloved of men. It 
was a beautiful fiction of ancient poetry, that Sleep and 
Death were twin-brothers, the ministers of Jove. In a re- 
markable passage of the oldest and best of poets, one of the 
heroes, a son of Jupiter, having closed his career on the field 
of battle, is borne away by Sleep and Death to his distant 
home in Lycia, and buried in his native earth. This legend, 
a poetical fiction to the ancients, became a beautiful reality to 
our illustrious associate. After passing an evening in plea- 
sant conversation with the loving circle at Sunnyside, he 
retired to his chamber to sleep ; but, happier than he thought, 
Sleep and Death — gracious ministers of God — bore him 
thence to his eternal home in heaven. 

I have made no formal preparation for this evening in the 
shape of any written line ; and I should feel any elaborate 
paper uncalled for, after the varied and most interesting tri- 
butes to the personal and literary character of Mr. Irving, to 
which we have just listened. I have nothing to suggest iu 
addition or modification, except to correct the impression that 
Mr. Irving never wrote in verse. Three instances are men- 
tioned by Mr. Duyckink in his notes of Irving, contained in 
the u Cyclopaedia of American Literature," which show how 
slight an accident might have made a versifier of one who 

1859.] REMARKS OF DR. HOLMES. 419 

was born a poet. I have long remembered some lines of his, 
printed in an Annual, as an illustration of a picture of Stuart 
Newton's, and beginning, — 

" Frostie age, frostie age, 
Vain all thy learning; 
Drowsie page, drowsie page, 
Evermore turning." 

If we wonder at first that he did not write oftener with the 
aid of rhythm and rhyme, we shall cease to wonder when we 
remember how natural a music flows with the unbroken cur- 
rent of his translucent prose. 

I should not have risen, were it not that I have a few slight 
but recent personal reminiscences of Mr. Irving, which some 
may be pleased to hear. I visited New York and its vicinity 
last December, professedly for the purpose of delivering cer- 
tain lectures, but mainly with the intent of looking upon the 
face of Washington Irving before it should be veiled from 
our earthly eyes. The kind invitation of a friend of his and 
mine promised me an introduction to the home in which he 
was realizing his early dream of rest and peace. I learned, 
however, on arriving at New York, that he had been very ill 
of late, and that it was doubtful whether he would be in a 
condition to see me. At least, however, I might look upon 
that home of his, next to Mount Yernon, the best known and 
most cherished of all the dwellings in our land. 

Sunny side was Snowy side on that December morning ; 
yet the thin white veil could not conceal the features of a 
place long familiar to me through the aid of engravings and 
photographs, and as stereotyped in the miraculous solid sun- 
pictures. The sharp-pinnacled roof, surmounted by the old 
Dutch weather-cock ; the vine-clad cottage, with its three- 
arched open porch, — open on all sides, like the master's 
heart, — were there just as I knew them, just as thousands 
know them who have never trodden or floated between the 
banks of the Hudson. 


We knocked, and were admitted ; feeling still very doubt- 
ful whether Mr. Irving would be able to see us. Presently 
we heard a slow step, which could not be mistaken in that 
household of noiseless footfalls. Mr. Irving entered the room, 
and welcomed us in the most cordial manner. He was 
slighter, and more delicately organized, than I had supposed ; 
of less than average stature, I should think ; looking feeble, 
but with kindness beaming from every feature. He spoke 
almost in a whisper, with effort, his voice muffled by some 
obstruction. Age had treated him like a friend ; borrowing- 
somewhat, as is his wont, but lending also those gentle graces 
which give an inexpressible charm to the converse of wise 
and good old men, whose sympathies keep their hearts young 
and their minds open. 

I could not repeat the half-hour's talk I enjoyed with him, 
if I would. It would be pardonable in any of us, whose 
boyhood had breathed the atmosphere of his delicious day- 
dreams, to speak of the pleasure we had received from a wri- 
ter whom we had so long loved unseen. It was not unnatural 
that he should speak with indulgent good nature to a visitor 
from a distant place, almost a generation younger than him- 
self; since he was born in the same year which saw the ad- 
vent in the literary world of the renowned Diedrich Knicker- 
bocker. But it was painful to see the labor which it cost Mr. 
Irving to talk ; and I could not forget, that, however warm 
my welcome, I was calling upon an invalid, and that my visit 
must be short. Something authorized me to allude to his 
illness, and my old professional instincts led me to suggest to 
him the use of certain palliatives which I had known to be 
used in some cases having symptoms which resembled his 

After returning home, I sent him some articles of this 
kind. Early in January, he wrote me a letter of considerable 
length; saying, among other things, that he had used some 
medicated cigarettes I sent him, with much relief. This letter 



was overflowing with expressions of kindness ; but, though 
written in his own hand, it had no signature. I sent it back 
to him for his name ; telling him that his was the first auto- 
graph I had ever asked for, but that I must have it at the 
end of such a letter. The next post brought the letter back 

I received about this time a communication from Mr. 
Irving's attached and intelligent family physician, Dr. J. C. 
Peters of New York, containing many details of his symptoms, 
and of what had been done to relieve them. Some general 
account of Mr. Irving's mode of life, before and after he was 
attacked by his then recent illness, may interest the members 
of the Society. [Extracts from Dr. Peters's letter were here 
read ; which are omitted, as the full details of Mr. Irving's 
case will doubtless be given to the public hereafter.] Even 
in his usual health, he had a " strange gipsy and cat-like way 
of murdering good Christian sleep, 1 ' as his physician plea- 
santly calls it. He was in the habit of rising in the night, 
between twelve and four o'clock, and reading, or even writing, 
for half an hour or an hour. He did not get, on the average, 
more than four hours' sleep at night, but often took short 
naps in the afternoon and evening. This natural, or at least 
habitual, irregularity of sleep, became aggravated to extreme 
nervousness and restlessness after an attack of fever and 
ague in the autumn of 1858. He was still suffering from the 
effects of this when I saw him. 

But beneath all these nervous disturbances lay a deeper 
difficulty, which was distinctly mentioned to me in his physi- 
cian's letter as " enlargement of the heart," accompanied by 
" an obstructed circulation." Under these influences, with 
growing age to weaken the power of resistance, his health 
gradually declined, until the flame of life, which had been 
getting paler and feebler, was blown out, as it were, by a 
single breath ; a gentle end of a sweet and lovely life, — such 
an end as Nature prepares by slow and measured approaches, 


and consummates with swift kindness when she grants the 
blessing of euthanasia to her favorite children. 

Mr. Sears read a note from Mr. Ticknor, stating that 
a slight accident prevented him from being present, and 
uniting, as he would gladly have done, with the Society, 
in paying the tribute of respect to the memory of their 
late eminent associate. 

The following letter was communicated from Mr. 
George Sumner : — 

Boston, Dec. 15, 1859. 

My dear Longfellow, — An imperative engagement calls 
me in half an hour from the city, and will deprive me of the 
melancholy satisfaction of joining, this evening, in the tribute 
of the Historical Society to the memory of Washington 

Others will speak of his literary fame ; of his style, as 
graceful and delicate as that of Charles Nodier ; and of the 
chords of ever-sensitive feeling he has touched ; which cause 
the " Sketch-Book " to be more widely read in its original 
tongue than any book in our language, except the " Yicar of 
Wakefield." I would fain, if present, speak of his genial and 
constant friendship, of his faith in man, and of his readiness 
to find good in every thing. 

There is also one part of his life — the least familiar, per- 
haps, to the public — on which it seems fitting that something 
should be said : I mean, his diplomatic career as minister to 
Spain. He was there at a moment of great political excite- 
ment; when the party which had most strongly toiled for 
liberty, being in power, " veiled temporarily," to use the bor- 
rowed words of one of its minister's proclamations, — "veiled 
temporarily the statue of the law," and, having done this, fell. 

In the turmoil that ensued, delicate questions arose, which 
Mr. Irving treated with promptness and success. 


On one occasion, citizens of the United States, resident 
as merchants in Spain, had been compelled to serve in the 
National Guard. Mr. Irving's protest against this was met 
by the declaration, that, the property of these Americans 
being protected by the National Guard, it was their duty to 
join its ranks. In the correspondence that ensued, as in all 
his relations with the Spanish Government, Mr. Irving 
showed the suavity, so congenial to his nature, and so pre- 
sumptive of latent force. He carried all his points, and gave 
a lesson of conduct to other diplomatists. 

In his career as a minister, as in his social life, there was 
a constant recognition of the rights of others ; and, as a 
natural result of this, a constant respect on the part of others 
for his own rights. 

Mr. Irving was, in the largest sense of the word, a national 
man, — keenly alive to the honor and good name of the re- 
public ; and his honest nature revolted at any forgetfulness 
of it on the part of those whom the people have selected as 
their representatives. He was too hopeful to give way to 
despair : but he was moved even to tears by the spectacle 
which our country presented, not many years ago, of a suc- 
cession of expeditions fitted out to invade the territory of a 
friendly power ; and he had read history too well not to see, 
in these forays, examples which would return to plague their 

His civic life was as honorable, and as true to the princi- 
ples of the founders of the republic, as was his public career 
as minister ; but this will doubtless be fully treated by his 
biographer. It is enough for the present to say, that, to those 
who had the privilege of his intimacy, his character seemed, 
in every respect, complete. We drop a tear upon the grave 
of the author, the friend, the public servant, the citizen. 

Ever faithfully yours, 

George Sumner. 


The Resolutions were then unanimously adopted. 

Voted, That the Corresponding Secretary be directed 
to communicate the thanks of the Society to J. Carson 
Brevoort, Esq., for his valuable and interesting contri- 
butions to their archives, presented through the hands 
of Mr. Everett, and referred to in his remarks. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day (Thursday), the 12th of January, at twelve 
o'clock, noon, at their rooms in Tremont Street; Hon. 
David Sears, one of the Vice-Presidents, in the chair. 

In the absence of the Librarian, the Recording Secre- 
tary announced donations from the Essex Institute ; 
Chicago Historical Society ; Maine Historical Society ; 
publishers of the " Architects' and Mechanics' Jour- 
nal ; " New-England Historic-Genealogical Society ; G. 
B. Faribault, Esq. ; B. P. Johnson, Esq. ; Rev. Leonard 
Woods, D.D. ; Dr. S. A. Green ; C. W. Parsons, M.D. ; 
Miss M. A. Smith ; and from Messrs. Brigham, Robbins, 
Saltonstall, D. Sears, E. H. Sears, and Shurtleff, of the 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, the 
Recording Secretary communicated a letter from the 
Librarian of Bowdoin College, stating that several vo- 
lumes of the Collections of this Society were wanting to 
complete their set ; and requesting information as to the 
mode in which the deficiency might be supplied. 


Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Savage, it was Voted, 
That the Librarian be directed to present to Bowdoin 
College the numbers of our Collections in which the 
library of that institution is deficient. 

Hon. Benjamin F. Thomas and Dr. Samuel A. Green 
were elected Resident Members of the Society. 

The Chairman of the Standing Committee offered the 
following vote, which was passed without dissent; viz., — 

Voted, That a Committee be raised to consider and 
report what measures should be taken by the Society 
in respect to publishing papers read and proceedings 
had at its meetings. 

The Chair nominated, as members of this Committee, 
Messrs. Savage, Whitney, and Hudson. 

Mr. Robbins presented, on behalf of Edward S. Rand, 
Esq., a mounted copy of a " Plan of Mannadoes, or New 
Amsterdam," in 1661. Voted, That the thanks of the 
Society be presented to E. S. Rand, Esq., for his accepta- 
ble donation. 

Mr. Ticknor read several highly interesting letters, 
selected from the papers of the late Samuel Eliot. 

The Treasurer made a verbal report on the state of 
the treasury ; the consideration of which was referred 
to the next meeting. 


The Society held a special meeting this evening, the 
26th of January, at half-past seven o'clock, at the resi- 
dence of Dr. Jacob Bigelow, in Mount Vernon Street ; 
Hon. David Sears, one of the Vice-Presidents, in the 
chair. 54 


Mr. Washburn, Chairman of the Standing Commit- 
tee, after a brief allusion to the death of Lord Macaulay, 
an Honorary Member of the Society, offered the follow- 
ing resolutions ; viz., — 

Resolved, That the Massachusetts Historical Society, on 
the occasion of this their first meeting since receiving the 
melancholy tidings of the death of Lord Macaulay, one of 
their foreign Honorary Members, would add, to the universal 
expressions of regret which that event has called forth, a tes- 
timony of their sincere sorrow, and a tribute of unfeigned 
respect for one whose brilliant and honorable career of lite- 
rary success has been so suddenly arrested. 

Resolved, That while his wisdom as a statesman, his erudi- 
tion as a scholar, his power and elegance as a writer, and his 
virtues as a man, elevated him to a conspicuous position 
among the great men of his time, his transcendent qualities 
and accomplishments as a historian have won for him the 
very highest rank in his chosen department of letters, and 
have secured for him an enduring fame. 

Resolved, That the impression of sadness which his death 
has occasioned is deepened by the thought, that his last great 
work is left unfinished ; and that his inestimable store of 
gathered materials for a history of England during the golden 
age of its literature, as well as in subsequent periods, has 
been lost, with himself, to his country and to the world. 

Mr. Everett, in seconding the resolutions, offered a 
few appropriate and touching remarks ; and read ex- 
tracts from several letters addressed to himself by Lord 
Macaulay at various periods during the last ten or 
twelve years, one of which was unfinished, and was 
found in the pocket of the historian after his de- 

Mr. Hillard and Mr. Ticknor spoke, with great 


feeling, of the eminent personal virtues as well as the 
illustrious literary accomplishments of Lord Macaulay ; 
interspersing their remarks with interesting remini- 
scences of their interviews with him in London, and 
with anecdotes illustrating his private and social life. 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted. 

Mr. Robbings remarked, that he had recently received 
letters from the President of the Society (Hon. R. C. 
Winthrop), now in Europe ; from which, although they 
were of a private nature, he w T ould venture to read to 
the meeting a few extracts. 

Writing from Paris under the date 14th December, 
1859, Mr. Winthrop thus alludes to the death of Mr. 
Irving : — 

A telegraph from Liverpool, in the papers of this morn- 
ing tells us of the death of Washington Irving. No purer or 
gentler or more genial spirit was ever clothed in mere mortal 
vestments. I cannot bear to think of so much genius and so 
much goodness lost to the world, and more particularly to our 
portion of the world. And yet they are not lost. He had 
done his work ; and a great work it was for American litera- 
ture and American history. I rejoice that he was permitted 
to finish his charming " Biography of Washington," the 
crowning labor of his life ; and which has done, and will con- 
tinue to do, so much to impress upon the popular mind and 
heart the consummate virtues and wisdom of the greatest of 
men. I wish I could have been at home to unite with our 
Society in the tribute which I am sure they have been eager 
to pay him. I would have ventured to read to them a note 
which I received from him on his seventieth birthday, and 
which was full of that charming sentiment which breathes 
through so many of his earlier and of his later writings. I 
must have received it six or seven years ago ; but I could 


almost repeat it by heart, so much did it impress me. It was 
only yesterday that I was talking about Irving with our mu- 
tual friend Calderon de la Barca, and recalling his account of 
the time, during his residence in Madrid, when he was inti- 
mate in the family of the present Empress of France, and 
when he often had the beautiful little Eugenie on his knee ! 
Calderon spoke of him as one who had left the most delightful 
impressions in Spain, and who was still remembered there 
with the greatest interest and respect and affection. In- 
deed, nobody could help loving him, who was ever admitted 
to his friendship, or even to his acquaintance. Nay, the mere 
reading of his works was enough to inspire an affection for 
their author. It happened that my old master, Mr. Gould, 
whose recent death I have observed with so much sorrow, 
presented to me a copy of Irving's Works (as many of them 
as were then written), as a parting token of his approbation 
and regard, when I left school, nearly forty years ago ; and 
my earliest associations of pride and honor were with the 
" Sketch-Book " and " Bracebridge Hall." What exquisite 
writings they were, and are still ! They gave the first idea 
of an American literature to the world ; and though I do not 
forget that other good books, and some of them great books, 
had been previously written and published in our country, yet 
it is hardly an extravagance to speak of Washington Irving 
as the princeps of American authors, the first in order of 
time, and hardly second to any, in point of accomplishment, 
among those who have adopted literature as a profession, and 
who have given American literature a place in the libraries 
of the world. But I am writing at midnight, after a day of 
laborious sight-seeing ; and must not venture further upon a 
topic which deserves the best pen which can be brought to it. 

In a letter dated Paris, 2d January, 1860, and re- 
ceived this evening, Mr. Winthrop briefly notices the 
death of Baron Macaulay : — 


We have lost De Tocqueville recently ; and now we have 
Macaulay also, among our foreign members, to deplore. I 
saw Macaulay at his own house in July, and hoped to have 
seen him again in the spring ; but I observed a great change 
in him since I met him in 1847, and was not wholly surprised 
at his early and sudden death. Mons. Guizot, whom I saw 
on Saturday, and to whom I gave the information of Macau- 
lay's death, said of him, with great feeling, u He was one of 
my best friends in England, and the most brilliant writer 
of the English language. 7 ' Irving and he have gone together, 
as Prescott and Hallam did at the opening of the year. These 
are vacancies which will hardly be supplied in our day and 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day (Thursday), the 9th of February, at twelve 
o'clock, noon; Hon. David Sears, one of the Vice- 
Presidents, in the chair. 

The Eecording Secretary being absent from the State, 
the Chair appointed Mr. Whitney Secretary pro tern. 

The records of the last stated meeting, and those of 
the special meeting held the 26th of January at the 
residence of Dr. Jacob Bigelow, were read. The Libra- 
rian made his report, announcing donations from the 
American Antiquarian Society ; American Philosophical 
Society ; Essex Institute ; New-England Historic-Gene- 
alogical Society ; Trustees of State Lunatic Asylum ; 
Henry Stevens, William T. Wardwell, James Lenox, 


and J. M. Wightman, Esqs. ; Hon. Theron Metcalf; 
and Messrs. William Appleton, J. Bigelow, Deane, 
Green, Hudson, Livermore, Quint, Eobbins, Savage, 
Sparks, E. H. Sears, and Webb, of the Society. 

The Corresponding Secretary stated that communica- 
tions had been received from Hon. Benjamin F. Thomas, 
and Samuel A. Green, M.D., accepting membership. 
He then read a letter from Mr. Isaac I. Greenwood of 
New York, a descendant of Dr. John Clark, in regard 
to an account of a portrait in the rooms of the Histori- 
cal Society, to be found in the seventh volume of the 
Third Series of the Society's Collections, stating that the 
account was incorrect. Mr. Savage expressed regret 
that such an error should have found its way into our 
Collections, and said it had long ago been corrected. 
The letter was referred to the Cabinet-keeper for a reply 
to the question asked therein. 

Mr. Quincy made a few remarks in regard to a manu- 
script of fifty-seven pages, which he held in his hand ; 
being " Observations of the Merchants of Havre de 
Grace upon the Arret of the Council of State, dated 
Aug. 30, 1784, concerning the Commerce of Foreigners 
in the French West-India Islands." After referring 
to the course of the French Government during the 
rule of Dessalines, by which the lucrative commerce 
between this country and St. Domingo was interrupted, 
he said that this manuscript was sent to himself while a 
member of the National Congress, in 1806, by some of 
our merchants, to afford him information in regard to 
certain facts ; and, although, perhaps, of no great mo- 
ment, might, as a matter of statistics, be of value : and 


he therefore desired to place it in the archives of the 

Mr. Ticknor made a communication relating to a 
letter addressed to Washington Irving by Mr. Prescott. 
He knew that such a letter had been written ; and, 
shortly after Mr. Prescott 1 s death, wrote to Washington 
Irving in regard to it. But he replied, that his search 
had been in vain, although the contents of the letter 
were vivid in his memory ; and he feared that it had 
fallen a prey to the unscrupulous rapacity of autograph 
hunters. Mr. Pierre M. Irving, the nephew of Wash- 
ington Irving, in turning over his uncle's papers, had 
discovered the lost letter ; and Mr. Ticknor had this 
morning received it. 

All would recall, said Mr. Ticknor, the letter of 
Mr. J. Lothrop Motley, read at the April meeting 1859, 
giving an account of his feelings on hearing that Mr. 
Prescott intended to write the " History of Philip II.," 
and that, therefore, his (Mr. Motley's) projected " His- 
tory of the Rise of the Dutch Republic" would na- 
turally traverse a portion of the same ground ; his 
calling upon Mr. Prescott to ask if their plans would 
conflict ; and, although young and a stranger, the cor- 
dial reception he received ; the warm encouragement 
given him by Mr. Prescott to continue his work ; the 
placing of his library at his disposal ; &c. 

Mr. Ticknor then remarked, that, shortly after the 
publication of u Ferdinand and Isabella," Mr. Prescott 
was placed in precisely similar relations with Washing- 
ton Irving ; and, it was needless to say, with a result 
alike honorable to both. Mr. Prescott had made exten- 


sive collections for his " History of the Conquest of 
Mexico," when he accidentally learned that Irving had 
proposed to write a similar work ; and it was this that 
produced the letter referred to, bearing date Dec. 30, 

This interesting letter of Mr. Prescott was then read. 

Mr. Everett, in announcing the decease of Henry 
D. Gilpin, Esq., spoke substantially as follows : — 

At the meeting of the Society on the 20th of January, I 
expressed the apprehension, that Ave should soon be called to 
lament the loss of a distinguished honorary associate, — Mr. 
Gilpin of Philadelphia, — of whose health I had received 
by telegraph a very unfavorable account in the course of that 
day. This melancholy anticipation was realized a day or two 
afterwards. Having had the privilege of proposing him, in 
the course of the past year, as an associate whose election 
would do honor to the Historical Society, and having enjoyed 
his friendship for many years, I feel it a duty to submit to the 
Society an appropriate tribute of respect to his memory. 

If we can, with propriety, use such an expression of the 
resigned and tranquil close of an honored and useful life, 
the death of Mr. Gilpin, under the age of sixty, was prema- 
ture; but it found him prepared. In his own parting words, 
he died " at peace with God and man." Born and educated 
in Philadelphia, he adopted the law as his profession, and rose 
rapidly to eminence in its practice. While yet a young man, 
he was appointed District Attorney of the United States ; 
and afterwards Solicitor of the Treasury, and Attorney-Gene- 
ral. He sustained himself honorably at the most important 
forum in the country in these eminent positions, sometimes 
in opposition to the most distinguished counsel of the day. 
No interest confided to him ever suffered in his hands for 
want of ability or attention on his part ; while to the utmost 


energy and firmness in the discharge of duty he added an 
unfailing gentleness and courtesy of manner. While he filled 
the office of District Attorney, he published a volume of 
reports of cases adjudicated in the court of which he was an 
officer ; and he afterwards made a collection of the opinions 
of the attorneys-general, from the foundation of the govern- 
ment to the year 1841. He also, about the same time, ren- 
dered a very important service to the constitutional literature 
of the country by a careful and conscientious collation and 
edition of the " Madison Papers." No publication within my 
knowledge, issued under the auspices of the Government of 
the United States, has been more judiciously and skilfully 
prepared for the press. 

Mr. Gilpin, although eminently successful in his profes- 
sional and political career, appeared to be wholly destitute of 
political ambition ; and, retiring in early manhood from all 
public occupations, devoted himself to the gratification of 
more congenial tastes. He had always cultivated letters, as 
his favorite recreation from professional toil ; and hencefor- 
ward gave himself almost exclusively to literary pursuits. 
He had been, from an early period, a successful and a popular 
writer in the leading periodicals of the day, including the 
Quarterly Eeviews. He wrote several of the articles in 
the original edition of the " Biographies of the Signers of the 
Declaration of Independence ; " and the second edition of 
that work was published under his supervision, with large 
additions. He also wrote biographical notices of several 
distinguished contemporaries ; among others, of Mr. Living- 
ston, Mr. Forsyth, and Mr. Silas Wright. His discourses and 
addresses on various public occasions are among the most 
valuable performances of the kind ; always admirably writ- 
ten, discriminating, full of fact, and in good taste. His 
"Address on the Life and Character of Franklin," delivered at 
Philadelphia a few years since, contains one of the most judi- 



cious and instructive discussions of the entire career of our 
great countryman which has ever appeared. 

In the possession of ample means, Mr. Gilpin bestowed a 
liberal expenditure on the formation of a library. His collec- 
tion consisted of twelve or fifteen thousand well-selected 
volumes, in the various departments of general literature. It 
was a library, not of bibliographical rarities, but of books for 
use ; and he was as well acquainted with their contents as 
any man can be with the contents of a library of that size. 
He was among the most finished classical scholars in the 
country ; and his shelves contained the best editions of 
the ancient authors, which he read systematically and with 
care. He collected maps, charts, and plans of cities, with 
great diligence ; always, in his travels, procuring the best arti- 
cles of that kind : and, where nothing already published was 
to be had, he occasionally, in order to complete a series, 
caused original drawings and sketches to be made. 

Mr. Gilpin's taste for the fine arts had been carefully culti- 
vated by the study of the best works at home and abroad. 
His residence was tastefully adorned with valuable works of 
painting and statuary. He was well acquainted with the 
characteristic merits of the great masters, which he had dili- 
gently observed in Europe. He took much interest in the 
progress of art at home ; and was the President of the Penn- 
sylvania Academy of Fine Arts, giving much time to the 
management of its affairs. 

He was an active member and a Vice-President of the 
Pennsylvania Historical Society, and had explored several 
branches of local antiquity with great diligence. He was 
especially conversant with the political history of the United 
States ; having added to a large acquaintance with the public 
men of the day the diligent perusal of every standard work 
in that department. In all his studies, the grasp of a very 
retentive memory was strengthened by great method in the 
arrangement and disposition of his books and papers. 


Mr. Gilpin had formed intimate personal relations with 
some of the most eminent statesmen of the day. He was 
especially in the confidence of the late distinguished jurist, — 
Mr. Livingston, — who, if I mistake not, in preparing his 
" Code," and the Eeports illustrating it, more than once re- 
sorted to Mr. Gilpin's stores of professional knowledge, as 
well as to his amply furnished library. There were few sub- 
jects of literary, scientific, or professional inquiry on which 
important original views might not be gathered from his con- 
versation or correspondence ; and few persons, I presume, 
were more frequently consulted in this way by their friends. 

A few years ago, Mr. Gilpin made an extensive tour in 
Europe and Western Asia. No American within my acquaint- 
ance has ever gone abroad better qualified to travel to 
advantage, or has returned with a richer store of personal 
observation. Acquainted beforehand with all that books 
teach of the objects deserving attention, he devoted to the 
discriminating inspection of what is really important that time 
which, under the dictation of ignorant couriers, is wasted by 
so many travellers in vague curiosity-hunting and tasteless 

Mr. Gilpin took an enlightened interest in the subject of 
education, and especially in the Girard College, of which he 
was an active and efficient director. In frequent visits to 
Philadelphia within the last few years, I had abundant oppor- 
tunity to become acquainted with the minute and truly pa- 
rental care with which he watched over that institution, not 
merely in matters of general administration, but with kindly 
sympathy with the individual inmates and their progress. 

It would be hardly proper before a public body to speak of 
Mr. Gilpin in the relations of private life, further than to say, 
that he might be cited as a model son, brother, husband, and 
friend ; unsurpassed in the courtesies which make the charm 
of social intercourse, and convert even a passing visit into a 
substantial enjoyment. 


Mr. Gilpin left a handsome fortune. The provisions of his 
will, executed a short time before his death, have been made 
public, and show, that, after obeying in the amplest manner 
the impulses of affection and duty, he contemplated munifi- 
cent and permanent endowments of the public institutions 
with which he was connected. The grave has rarely closed 
over a character of such great and varied excellence ; and his 
death is a loss not merely to Philadelphia, but to the whole 

I beg leave to offer the following resolutions : — 

Resolved, That the members of the Massachusetts Historical So- 
ciety have received with becoming sensibility the melancholy tidings of 
the decease of their honorary associate, Henry D. Gilpin, Esq., Vice- 
President of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, President of the 
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and a Director of the Girard 
College at Philadelphia. 

Resolved, That the various and distinguished accomplishments of 
Mr. Gilpin as a jurist, a statesman, and a scholar ; his numerous and 
valuable contributions to the historical and miscellaneous literature of 
the country ; his eminent services as a friend and patron of education, 
of the fine arts, and the benevolent institutions of the community ; and 
his recognized character as an enlightened and public-spirited citizen, 
— entitle him to an honored place among the illustrious dead of the 
past twelvemonth, and will cause his name to be held in respectful and 
grateful remembrance. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the 
family of our lamented associate, with the assurance of the sincere 
sympathy of the Massachusetts Historical Society in their bereave- 

The resolutions were unanimously adopted ; and the 
Secretary was directed to see that the last resolve was 
carried into effect. 

Mr. Everett called particular attention to the dona- 
tion of Mr. Lenox, of which the Librarian had made 
mention, — a quarto volume of sixty-three pages ; a few 

I860.] MARCH MEETING. 437 

copies only having been privately printed by Mr. Lenox, 
in beantifnl style, with an introduction by himself. 
This volume, entitled " Nicolaus Syllacius de Insulis 
Meridiani atque Indici Maris nuper inventis," with a 
translation into English by the Rev. John Mulligan, 
A.M., New York, 1859, relates to the second voyage 
of Columbus, and was originally published in 1494 or 
1495. Only two copies are known to exist ; one of 
these, from which the reprint was made, being in the 
possession of Mr. Lenox. 

On motion of Mr. R. Frothingham, Jun., the Secretary 
was requested to make a special acknowledgment of 
this valuable gift to the library. 


A stated monthly meeting of the Society was held 
this day (Thursday), the 8th of March, at noon, in their 
rooms, Tremont Street ; Hon. David Sears, one of 
the Vice-Presidents, in the chair. 

The Librarian announced donations from the Essex 
Institute ; Mercantile-Library Association of Philadel- 
phia; Pennsylvania Historical Society; Western Rail- 
road Corporation ; George Adams, Esq.; G. P. Babcock, 
Esq. ; C. K. Dillaway, Esq. ; Augustus Durant, Esq. ; 
Rev. A. Hill, D.D. ; B. P. Johnson, Esq. ; S. S. Purple, 
M.D. ; Benjamin S. Shaw, M.D. ; Rev. E. M. Stone ; 
John Wilson, Esq. ; and from Messrs. Green, Robbins, 


Shurtleff, Sibley, Ticknor, Tudor, Washburn, Water- 
ston, Webb, and Winthrop, of the Society. 

In the absence of the Corresponding Secretary, the 
Recording Secretary communicated a letter of thanks 
from Bowdoin College for the gift of several volumes of 
the Society's Collections. 

On motion of Mr. Robbens, the thanks of the Society 
were voted to Mr. G. R. Babcock for his acceptable 
donation to the Library. 

Mr. Deane, from the Committee on the Publication 
of the Catalogue, stated that the second volume is all in 
type, and will be completed by the Annual Meeting. 
He also asked instructions as to the catalogue of the 
manuscripts, whether the Society would prefer that a 
very general and brief list of this exceedingly valuable 
portion of the library should be included in the forth- 
coming volume, or — coinciding with the views of the 
Committee — would authorize them to prepare a full 
and minute catalogue of these treasures, to be published 
hereafter in a separate volume. 

After considerable conversation, and various motions 
offered, but not finally passed, all tending, in the main, 
to sustain the preference expressed on behalf of the 
Committee, it was Voted to refer the subject to the Com- 
mittee, who have now a general knowledge of the feel- 
ings of the members, — with full powers. 

The Presiding Officer nominated Messrs. Washburn, 
Brigham, and Saltonstall a Committee to prepare a list 
of officers of the Society to be balloted for at the An- 
nual Meeting. 

The Chair also nominated, as a Committee to examine 


the accounts of the Treasurer, Messrs. William Apple- 
ton, Gray, and Lowell. 

The following gentlemen were appointed a Commit- 
tee to publish a portion. of the "Prince Manuscripts," 
together with such other papers as may be neces- 
sary to complete a new volume of the Society's Collec- 
tions ; viz., Messrs. S. Lincoln, Quint, Latham, and 

An animated conversation ensued with reference to 
the affairs and interests of the Society. 

Mr. Robbins stated, that, in the course of a recent 
examination of one of the cabinets of the Society, he 
had discovered a small bundle of ancient papers in 
manuscript and type, amongst which were two printed 
" Broadsides ; " being the theses, maintained at the time 
of their graduation, by the classes of 1643 and 1670 
(H.C.). These interesting relics, the former of which, 
at least, is undoubtedly the only one extant, were 
then exhibited to the meeting. Mr. Robbins referred 
to the " Copy of the Questions given and maintained by 
the Commencers in their Publick Acts," A.D. 1642 ; 
which is contained in " New England's First Fruits," 
printed in London, 1643, and which is the only known 
contemporary account of the theses of the first class at 
Harvard * It is an interesting circumstance, that this 
memorial of the second class [1643], transmitted by the 

* The copy of these questions — which is given in the Appendix to vol. i. of Hutch- 
inson's History of Massachusetts Bay — was undoubtedly reprinted from the First 
Fruits; as he says, "The thesis, with a particular account of the whole proceeding, 
was published in England;" and adds, that he knows "but two copies extant." It 
must not be inferred from Hutchinson's language, that the theses were not originally 
printed in America; for, according to the statement in the First Fruits, they were 
"printed in Cambridge in New England, and reprinted here [London] verbatim." 


care of those who have appreciated its value in for- 
mer generations, has come to light at this late day, and 
can now be printed and preserved in a permanent form 
in connection with that of the first [1642]. 

[The Society's reprint of "First Fruits" (Coll., vol. i.) contains the 
following " Letter," but not the Theses. They are here printed together.] 

The manner of the late Commencement, expressed in a Letter 
sent over from the Governour and diverse of the Ministers ; 
their oivn words these. 

The Students of the first Classis that have beene these 
foure yeeres trained up in University-Learning (for their 
ripening in the knowledge of the Tongues and Arts), and are 
approved for their manners, as they have kept their publick 
Acts in former yeares, our selves being present at them ; so 
have they lately kept two solemne Acts for their Commence- 
ment, when the Governour, Magistrates, and the Ministers 
from all parts, w T ith all sorts of Schollars, and others, in great 
numbers, were present, and did heare their Exercises ; which 
were Latine and Greeke Orations and Declamations, and 
Hebrew Analasis — Grammatical!, Logicall, & Rhetoricall — of 
the Psalms : And their Answers and Disputations in Logi- 
call, Ethicall, Physicall, and Metaphysicall Questions ; and so 
were found worthy of the first degree (commonly called 
Batchelour) pro more Academiarum in Anglia ; Being first pre- 
sented by the President to the Magistrates and Ministers, and 
by him, upon their Approbation, solemnly admitted unto the 
same degree : and a Booke of Arts delivered into each of 
their hands, and power given them to read Lectures in the 
Hall upon any of the Arts, when they shall be thereunto 
called, and a liberty of studying in the Library. 

All things in the Colledge are at present like to proceed 
even as wee can wish, may it but please the Lord to goe on 


with his blessing in Christ, and stir up the hearts of his faith- 
full and able Servants in our owne Native Country and here 
(as he hath graciously begun) to advance this Honourable and 
most hopefull worke. The beginnings whereof and progresse 
hitherto (generally) doe fill our hearts with comfort, and 
raise them up to much more expectation of the Lord's good- 
nesse for us hereafter, for the good of posterity, and the 
Churches of Christ Iesus. 

Your very loving friends. &c. 

Boston in Xew England, September the 26, 1642. 

A Cqpie of the Questions given and maintained by the Com- 
mencers in their publick Acts. Printed in Cambridge in 
New-England, and reprinted here verbatim as folio iceth : — 

Spectatissinris Pietate. et Illnstrissimis Eximia 

Tirtute Viris, P. Iohanni Wintkropo,mclytab Massachu- 

setti Colonize Gubernatori, D. Johanni Endicotto Tice- 
Gubernatori, D. Thorn. Dudleo, D. Rich. 
Bellinghamo, D. loan. Humphry do, 
D. Israel. Stouyhtono. 

Xec non Reverendis pientissimisque viris Ioanni Cottono. loan. Wilsono, 

loan. Davenport, Tho. Weldo. Hugoni Petro. Tho. Shepardo. Col- 

legij Harvardensis nov. Cantabr. inspectoribus fidelissi- 

mis, caiterisq ; Magistratibus. & Ecclesiarum ejus- 

dein Colonic Presbyteris vigilantissirnis. 

Has Theses Philologicas. & Philosophieas, quas Deo duce, Praeside 

Henrico Dunstero palam pro virili propugnare eonabuntur, 

(honoris & observantire gratia) dicant consecrantque 

in artibus liberalibus initiati Adolescentes. 

Benjamin Woodbrigius. Eenricus SaltonslaU. Nathaniel Brusterus. 

Georgius Doicningus. Johannes BulUtius. Samuel Btlinghamus. 

Gulielmus Hubbardus. Johannes Wilsonvs. Tobias Btrnardus. 



Theses Philologicas. 


1. Linguarum Scientia est utilissima. 

2. Literse non exprimunt quantum vocis Organa efferunt. 

3. Haebraea est Linguarum Mater. 

4. Consonantes & vocales Hasbreorum sunt cosetanese. 

5. Punctationes chatephatse syllabam proprie non efficiunt. 

6. Linguarum Graeca est copiosissima. 

7. Lingua G-raeca est ad accentus pronuntianda. 

8. Lingua Latina est eloquentissima. 


1. Rhetorica specie differt a Logica. 

2. In Elocutione perspicuitati cedit ornatus, ornatui copia. 

3. Actio primas tenet in pronuntiotione. 

4. Oratoris est celare Artem. 


1. Universalia non sunt extra intellectum. 

2. Omnia Argumenta sunt relata. 

3. Causa sine qua non non est peculiaris causa a quatuor 

reliquis generalibus. 

4. Causa & Effectus sunt simul tempore. 

5. Dissentanea sunt asque nota. 

6. Contrarietas est tantum inter duo. 

7. Sublato relato tollitur correlatum. 

8. Genus perfectum aequaliter communicatur speciebus. 

9. Testimonium valet quantum testis. 

10. Elenchorum doctrina in Logica non est necessaria. 

11. Axioma contingens est ? quod ita verum est, ut aliquando 

falsum esse possit. 

12. Prascepta Artium debent esse Kara nav™?, naff avrd, Kad' blov 



Theses Philosophicas. 


1. Philosophia practica est eruditions meta. 

2. Actio virtutis habitum antecellit. 

3. Voluntas est virtutis moralis subjectum. 

4. Voluntas est formaliter libera. 

5. Prudentia virtutum difficillima. 

6. Prudentia est virtus intellectuals & moralis. 

7. Justitia mater omnium virtutum. 

8. Mors potius subeunda quam aliquid culpae perpetrandum. 

9. Non injuste agit nisi qui libens agit. 

10. Mentiri potest qui verum dicit. 

11. Juveni modestia summum Ornamentum. 


1. Corpus naturale mobile est subjectum Phisicse. 

2. Materia secunda non potest existere sine forma. 

3. Forma est accidens. 

4. Unius rei non est nisi unica forma constitutiva. 

5. Forma est principium individuationis. 

6. Privatio non est principium internum. 

7. Ex meris accidentibus non fit substantia. 

8. Quicquid movetur ab alio movetur. 

9. In omni motu movens simul est cum mobili. 

10. Ccelum non movetur ab intelligentijs. 

11. Non dantur orbes in ccelo. 

12. Quodlibet Elementum habet unam ex primis qualitatibus 

sibi maxime propriam. 

13. Putredo in humido fit a calore externo. 

14. Anima non fit ex traduce. 

15. Vehemens sensibile destruit sensum. 


1. Omne ens est bonum. 

2. Omne creatum est concretum. 

3. Quicquid seternum idem & immensum. 

4. Bonum Metaphysicum non sus^ipit gradus. 


[The following are the Theses of the Class of 1643 :] 

Illvstrissimis Pietate, et vera Religione, Virtvte, 

et Prvdentia honoratissimis Yiris, D. Iohanni Winthropo, 

coeterisque unitarum Nov-Angliae Coloniarum Guberna- 

toribus, & Magistratibus Dignissimis; Vna cum 

pientissimis, vigilantissimisque Eccle- 

siarum Presbyteris : 

Nee non omnibus nostras Reip. literariae, tam in Veteri quam in Nov- 
Anglia, Fautoribus benignissimis : 

Has Theses Philologicas & Philosophicas, quas cw Qsu, Preside Hen- 
rico Dunstero palam in Collegio Harvardino pro virili 
propugnare conabuntur (honoris, observantiae et 
gratitudinis ergo) D.D.D. in artibus libe- 
ralibus initiandi Adolescentes. 

Iohannes Ionesius. 
Samuel Matherus. 

Samuel Danforthus. 
Iohannes Allinus. 

Theses Philologic : 


Linguae prius discendae, quam artes. 

j Linguas foelicius usu 7 quam arte discuntur. 

ij Linguarum Anglicana nulli secunda. 

iij Literal diverse sonum habent diversum. 

v C. et T. efferre ut S. in latinis absurdum. 

vi Sheva nee vocalis est, nee consona, nee syllabam e 

. . Nullse diphthongi pronuntiandae nt simplices vo . 

. . Syllabarum accentus non destruit tempus. 

ix Verba valent sicut mimmus. 

x Synthesis est naturalis Syntaxis. 



i Rhetorica est affectionum domina. 
ij Eloquentia naturalis excellit artificialem. 
iij Apte loqui praestat quam ornate, 
iiij Yel gestus fidem facit. 

logic : 
Dialectica est omnium artium generalissima. 

j Efficiens & finis non ingrediuntur rei essentiam. 

ij Forma simul cum reipsa ingeneratur. 

v Posita forma ponuntur essentia, differentia & actio, 
v Et motus et res motu factae sunt effecta. 
vj Oppositorum ex uno affirmato alterum negatur. 
vij Relata sunt sibi mutuo causae, 
viij Contradictio topica negat ubique. 
ix Privantia maxime dissentiunt. 

x Genus et species sunt notae causarum et effectorum. 
xi Omnis syllogismus est necessarius ratione formae. 
xii Omnis quaestio non est subjectum syllogismi. 
xiij Methodus procedit ab universalibus ad singularia. 

Theses Philosophic : 


i Foelicitas moralis est finis Ethices. 

ij . . . unum actum non generatur h . . . 

iij . . . itus non pereunt sola actuum ce . . . 

iv perfecta dari potest, vitium n . . 

v causa est liberum arbitrium. 

atus in individuo . . 

amentu . 

viij Yulgi mos non regeret nos. 

ix Est abstinens qui continens. 

x Honor sequentem fugit, fugientem sequitur. 

xi Divitiae nil conferunt fcelicitati morali. 

xij Nulla est vera amicitia inter improbos. 



i Nihil agit in seipsum. 

ij Omnis motus fit in tempore. 

iij Non datur infinitum actu. 

iiij Pura elementa, non sunt alimenta. 

v Non datur proportio arithmetica in mixtis. 

vi In uno corpore non sunt plures animae. 

vii Anima est tota in toto, & tota in qualibet parte. 

viij Status animae in corpore est naturalissimus. 

ix Visio fit receptione specierum. 

x Phantasia producit reales effectus. 

xi Primum cognitum est singulare materiale. 


i Ens qua ens, est objectum metaphysices. 

ij Ente nihil prius, simplicius, melius, verius. 

iij Datur discrimen inter ens et rem. 

iv Essentia entis non suscipit magis et minus, 

v Veritas est conformitas intellectus cum re. 

Cantabrigia?, Nov. Aug., Mens. 8, 1643. 




Acceptance of membership, 2, 52, 54, 107, 

124, 133, 139, 197. 
Accessions to the Library the past year, 

Accommodation, larger, required for the 

Library, 15-16. 
Act for naturalizing foreign Protestants 

in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 

Acts of Incorporation in 1794 and 1857, 

Acts of the Legislature of Massachusetts, 

Adams and Sampson, donation from, 133. 
Adams, Rev. Amos, a manuscript sermon 

of, 123. 
Adams, Hon. Charles F., 2, 51, 133, 139, 

167, 198. His remarks at the anniver- 
sary of the battle of Bunker Hill, 68-75. 
Adams, G. W., donation from, 139. 
Adams, George, donation from, 437. 
Adams, John, 44, 57, 70, 71, 74, 79, 86, 

287, 376, 381. 
Adams, John Quincy, Memoir of, assigned 

to the Society by Hon. Josiah Quincy, 

54-55, 134, 241. 
Adams, Samuel, 44, 112, 225, 287, 388. 
Addison and Washington Irving, 399-400, 

Adlard, George. His " Account of the 

Dudleys of Massachusetts," 20-21. 
Admi-sion-fees, 251, 254. 
Aikins, T. B., donation from, 14. 
Alden, John, the Puritan, 142. 
Allibone's Dictionary of English and 

American Authors, 397. 
Almack, Richard, 274. 
Allston, Washington, medal of, 133-134. 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 

donation from, 365. 
American Antiquarian Society, donations 

from, 107, 235, 309, 429. 
American Antislavery Society, donations 

from, 139, 146. 
American Baptist Missionary Union, dona- 
tions from, 196, 226. 
American Biography, Rev. Dr. Belknap's 

materials for a complete, 11-12. 

American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, donation from, 146. 

American Oriental Societv, donation from, 

American Philosophical Societv, dona- 
tions from, 124, 378, 384, 429. 

American Tract Societv, donation from, 

American Unitarian Association, dona- 
tions from, 146, 196, 226. 

Ames, Ellis, 384. His remarks on cir- 
cumstances connected with the circular 
addressed to the Selectmen of Stoush- 
tonham, 387-390, 392. 

Amory, Thomas C, 196. Elected a Resi- 
dent Member, 374. 

Amory, William, 266, 267, 271. 

Anderson, Rev. Rufus, D.D., donation 
from, 139. 

Andros, Sir Edmund, 163. 

Anniversary of the battle of Lexington, 
22. Of the battle of Bunker Hill, 52, 
55, 68. Of the landing of the Pilgrims, 

Annual assessments, 251, 254. 

Annual meetings, 1, 234. 

Annual Reports of the Standing Commit- 
tee, 3-7, 237-245. Of the Librarian, 
8-18, 246-249. Of the Cabinet-Keeper, 
18-19, 249-251. Of the Treasurer, 

Antiquaries, Royal Society of, London, 
donations from, 13, 146, 235. 

Appleton Fund, 241, 244, 252, 254. 

Appleton, Hon. Nathan, 107, 13y. 146, 167. 

Appleton, Rev. Dr. Nathaniel, 84. 

Appleton, Samuel, executors of the will 
of, 244, 252. 

Appleton, Hon. William, 120, 228, 255, 273, 
430, 439. Elected a Resident Member, 

April meetings, 1, 22. 

Aranda, 375. 

" Archgeologia," &c, donation of the, from 
the Society of Autiquarians, London, 13. 

" Architects and Mechanics' Journal," 
donation from publishers of the, 424. 

Aristides, G. A.: his Greek translation of 
Irving's Life of Columbus, 416-417. 

Arnim, Count d', 236. 




Arnault, John, 353, 354, 356. 

Arnold, Benedict, 287. 

Arnold, Hon. S. G., donation from, 146. 

Aspinwall, Col. Thomas, 3, 19, 167, 245, 

283, 373, 395, 418. His donation of 

thirty-one volumes of newspapers, 330. 

His remarks on Washington Irving, 404- 

Asylum for the Insane, N.H., donation 

from the Trustees of, 378. 
' Atlantic Monthly," the, 277, 279. 
Atlantic Submarine Electric Telegraph 

Cable, specimens of, exhibited, 116. 
August meetings, 112, 364. 
Austin, J. T. : his Life of Elbridge Gerry, 

Autographs of Washington's father and 

mother, and of himself when a boy, 86, 

144. Of Queen Elizabeth and Oliver 

Cromwell, 143. 
Aylwin, William C, 342. 


Babcock, G. R., donation from, 437, 438. 

Bache, A. D., donation from, 330. 

Bachelder, Samuel, 63. 

Back-bav Commissioners, donation from 
the, 196. 

Baker, James L., donations from, 122, 309. 

Baldwin, Mrs. J. F., donations from, 196, 

Baltimore, Lord, 346, 347. 

Bancroft, Hon. George, 57, 68, 74, 199. 

Bangs Brothers and Co., donation from, 1. 

Banks, Sir John, 156. 

Barnard, D. D., 320. 

Barnstable County, donations from the 
County Commissioners of, 196, 226. 

Barret, D., 34, 36. 

Barrv, Rev. William, donation from, 133. 
Letter from, 235. 

Barstow, S. F., donations from, 1, 14. 

Bartlet, Rev. William S., 197, 226. Elect- 
ed a Resident Member, 20. 

Batchelder, Samuel, jun., donation from, 

Battles of Lexington and Concord, 22-26, 
51, 70, 84, 85, 86. Of Bunker Hill, 36, 
'52,55, 57, 75-77, 82. 

Baudin, Admiral, 315. 

Baylor, Mr., aid-de-camp to General 
Washington, 82. 

Beeman, Captain, the infamous, 85. 

Belcher, Governor, 52, 351, 352. 

Belknap, Edward, donations from, 244, 

Belknap, Rev. Jeremy, D.D., 297. Dona- 
tion of books and papers of the, 4-5, 
9, 11-12, 26, 63, 134-135, 144. His jour- 
nal of a tour to the camp at Cambridge 
in 1775, 77-86. His record of the ori- 
gin of the Society, 110-112. Letters to 
him from General Washington, 134, 
136-138. His possession of Standish's 
sword, 142-143. Portrait of, 244, 273. 

Belknap Papers, preparing of, 251. 

Bell, Luther V., M.D., 226. Elected a 

Resident Member, 20. 
Bell, Hon. S. D., donation from, 133. 
Bennet, Secretary, 276. 
Benson, F. A., donations from, 197, 226. 
Berkelev, Lord, 345, 347. 
Bernal, Diaz del Castillo, 279, 280, 281, 

282, 283. 
Bernard, Governor, 386, 387. 
Bigelow, Hon. George T., 235. Elected a 

Resident Member, 197. His acceptance 

of membership, 226. 
Bigelow, Dr. Jacob, 425, 429, 430. 
Bill, Richard, 65. 

Blackley, Captain, of Marblehead, 77. 
Blackstone, Sir William: his Commen- 
taries, 29. 
Blagden, Rev. George W., D.D., 228, 235, 

272, 286, 332, 334, 390. 
Bland, Richard, of Virginia, 137. 
Bliss, Rev. Philip, LL.D., decease of, 20. 
Blue and buff uniform, origin of the, 

Board of Customs, London, in the reign 

of George III., 322-324. 
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 313, 315. 
Bond, Dr. Henrv, death of, 311. 
Bond, Colonel William, 311. 
Bongarden, Philip, 353, 354, 355, 356. 
Bonpland, M. de, 315. 
Books missing, 9. 
Boston Athenaeum, donation from the, 

Boston City Missionary Society, donation 

from, 226. 
Boston, donation from the Trustees of the 

Public Library of, 391. 
Boston, donations from the City of, 1, 107, 

Boston Mercantile-Library Association, 

donation from, 122. 
Boston Port Bill, 33, 216, 291. 
Boston Provident Association, donation 

from, 196. 
Boston Town House, 11. 
Bours, Samuel, 382. 
Bowditch, Mrs. Elizabeth B., donation 

from, 148. 
Bowditch, Nathaniel Ingersoll, 1, 19, 122, 

148, 167, 228, 255, 273. 
Bowdoin College, donation to, 425. Let- 
ter of thanks from, 438. 
Bowdoin, James, Governor of Massachu- 
setts, 44, 120-121, 287. 
Bowen, Francis, 235. 
Bovd, Captain, 223. 
Braddock, General, 45, 341. 
Bradford, Governor, 127, 128, 142, 144, 

145, 162, 164. 
Bradlee, Rev. Caleb D., donations from, 

107, 286, 391. 
Brasseur, Abbe\ de Bourbourg, 280, 281. 
Bravbrook, Lord, D.C.L., decease of, 20. 

His "Pepys," 129. 
Breast-pin, a relic of Samuel Adams and 

John Hancock, 44. 
Brebeuf, Father, 278. 



Brevoort, J. Carson, elected an Honorary 
Member, 228. His donation of a pano- 
ramic drawing, 397, 424. 

Brevoort, Henry, 397. 

Brewster, William, the Pilgrim, 6, 142, 

Bridge, Samuel J., 322, 323, 324. 

Brigeart, the Sieur, 278. 

Brigham, William, 3, 7, 122, 124, 144, 167, 
283, 424, 438. 

Brimmer, Martin, 350, 353, 354. 

Brinlev, Francis, donation from, 330. 

Bristed, C. A., 211. 

Bristol County, donation from the County 
Commissioners of, 146. 

British Army, uniform of the, 149, 150. 

British State-paper Office, 118. 

Brooks, Rev. Charles, 112, 124, 129, 133. 
Elected a Resident Member, 52. 

Brougham, Lord, 370. 

Brown, Agnes, mother of Governor Win- 
throp, 148. 

Brown, Captain, of the " Sukev," 23, 

Brown, John, of the French Church in 
School Street, Boston, 353, 354. 

Brown Universitv, donation from, 391. 

Bruce, Major, 67-68. 

Brush, Crean, 79. 

Bryant, William Cullen, 411. 

Buckle's work on Civilization, 128, 129. 

Budd, Nicholas, of Norway, 342, 343. 

Buffs, the, and the Young'Buffs, 149. 

Bunker Hill, battle of, 36, 52, 55, 57, 67, 
68, 75-77, 82, 188, 259, 261, 296, 302, 

Bunsen, Chevalier: his "Signs of the 
Times," 321. 

Burgoyne, General, 67, 68, 153, 287. 

Burke, Edmund, 25. 

Bust of the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, 

By-laws: duties of the Standing Com- 
mittee, 237-238. 

Cabinet, 6-7, 18, 112, 242, 249, 254. 

Cabinet-Keeper. — See " Shurtleff, Na- 
thaniel B., M.D.," p. 462. 

Cadillac, Mons. La Motte, 361. 

Calderon de la Barca, 428. 

Calvert, family of, 137. 

Calvert, Sir George, 347. 

Camp at Cambridge in 1775, Dr. Bel- 
knap's tour to the, 77-86. 

Cannon-ball, a gift from James Shipley, 

Cannon's " Historical Record," 149. 

Capponi, Marquis Gino, 201. 

Cardova, Don Louis, 380. 

Carlos, Don, 202. 

Carlton, Governor, of Quebec, 38. 

Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia, do- 
nation from the, 54. 

Carr, Sir Robert, Knt., letter of, to the 
Earl of Lauderdale, 273-276. 

Carteret, Sir George, 345, 347. 

Cartwright, Colonel, 274, 275, 276. 

Carver, John, the Puritan, 142. 

Carv, Hon. Thomas G., elected a Resident 
Member, 113. Death of, 331. Resolu- 
tions passed, 330-331. Hon. John C. 
Gray nominated to prepare a memoir of 
Mr. Cary, 332. 

Catalogue"' of the Library, 5, 52-53, 124, 
242-243, 253, 379, 438. Catalogue 
Fund, 253. 

Celebration of the one hundredth anniver- 
sary of the capture of Quebec, 373- 

Chace, Judge, of Maryland, 137. 

Chalmers, George, 159. 

Chamber of Commerce, Nashville, dona- 
tion from, 1. 

Chamber of Commerce, New York, dona- 
tion from, 309. 

Chandler, Hon. Peleg W., 167. His re- 
marks on Rufus Choate, 366-372. 

Charles I., 155, 156. 

Charlevoix, 279. 

Chicago Historical Societv, donations 
from, 51, 124, 286, 309, 378, 384. 

Chilton, Mary, 142. 

Choate, Hon." Rufus, 196. His death an- 
nounced, 365. Resolutions passed on 
the occasion, 365-366. Remarks bv 
Hon. Peleg W. Chandler, 366-372. By 
Judge Parker, 372. 

Church, Dr. Benjamin, 59, 62, 67, 71, 72, 
73, 78. 

Circourt, Count de, 237. 

Circular addressed to the Gentlemen Se- 
lectmen of Stoughtonham, 384-390. 

City of Boston, donations from, 1, 107, 
235. Taxes paid to, 251. 

City of Roxbury, donation from, 124. 

Clark, Henrv, donation from, 384. 

Clark, Dr. John, 430. 

Clark, Hon. J. V. H., donation from, 133. 

Clark, Richard, one of the consignees of 
tea in 1773, 216, 217. 

Clarke, Rev. Joseph S., D.D., donation 
from, 146. 

Clifford, Hon. John H., 19, 53, 167, 336. 

Clinton, Governor, 287. 

Coat of Dr. Franklin, 6. 

Coke, Lord, 29. 

Coles, Hon. Edward, elected an Honorary 
Member, 228. His acceptance of mem- 
bership, 235. 

Collections of the Society, 2, 7, 11, 144, 
147, 241, 243, 244, 251, 252, 254, 273, 
322, 332, 374, 378, 379, 424, 425, 430, 
438, 439, 440. 

Collections of the New- York Historical 
Society, donation of, 13. 

Collins, Major James, 302. 

Colony Charter of 1628, transfer of the, 
from England to Massachusetts, 154- 

Commission, issued in the reign of George 
III., to revenue officers at Boston, 322- 



Committee — 

on Publications, 2, T, 19, 140, 241, 244, 
273, 378. 

recommended to be chosen for various 
purposes, 6, 7. 

on regulating the use of the diary of 
Rev. Dr. Pierce, 11, 109. 

on arranging the books and pamphlets 
of the Belknap donation, 12, 134. 

on the Library, 17. 

on the Treasurer's accounts, 19, 228, 
273, 438-439. 

to nominate Officers, 19, 228, 272, 438. 

on the manuscript, " Some Account of 
the Dudleys of Massachusetts," 20. 

on publishing the Catalogue of the Li- 
brary, 124, 365, 438. 

on the Cabinet, 125. 

to resist infringement of the Society's 
corporate name, 167, 198. 

on printing the Proceedings, 237. 

on the communication of Rev. John 
Waddington, 286, 308. 

on exchanges of the Society's publica- 
tions, 287. 

to consider measures to be taken as to 
publishing papers and proceedings, 

on publishing a new volume of the Col- 
lections, 439. 

See " Standing Committee," p. 463. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, dona- 
tion from the, 226. 

Communications respecting — 

The battle of Lexington, by Hon. R. C. 
Winthrop, 22-25. 

Edmund and Josiah Quincy, by Miss E. 
S. Quincy, 41-44. 

The gorget of General Washington, by 
Hon. Josiah Quincy, 44-46. 

The Stamp Act and Governor Hutchin- 
son, by Hon. Josiah Quincy, from his 
father's diary, 46-50. 

Reminiscences of the Vassal Family, by 
Rev. Lucius R. Paige, 63-66. 

The dress of Washington, and the origin 
of the buff and blue uniform of the 
Revolutionary Army, by Hon. Charles 
H. Warren, 148-154. 

The early charters of Massachusetts, by 
Hon. Emory Washburn, 154-167. 

Oaths appointed to be taken instead of 
the oaths of allegiance and suprema- 
cy, and declaration, 255-257. 

Statement of facts connected with the 
swords of Colonel William Prescott 
and Captain Linzee, by William H. 
Gardiner, 258-264. 

Naturalization in the American Colo- 
nies, by Joseph Willard, 337-364. 

The experience and sufferings of Solo- 
mon Parsons, by Hon. Emory Wash- 
burn, 383. 

The introduction of gas into the United 
States, by Dr. S. H. Webb, 383. 

Communications — continued. 
A circular inviting Selectmen in the 

Province of Massachusetts to join in 

a Convention at Boston, September, 

1768, 384-390. 
Transcript from the records of Stough- 

tonham, 392. 

Concord, battle of, 24, 25, 84, 85, 294. 

" Congregational Quarterly," donation 
from the proprietors of the, 235. 

Connecticut Historical Society, donation 
from, 122. 

Conner, Captain, 79. 

Constable, Archibald, the publisher, 402. 

Constitutional Society, London, in 1775, 
meeting of, 24. 

Continental Army, uniform of the, 149- 

Continental Congress of 1774, 69. Of 
1775, 57, 60, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73. 

Convention, at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Sep- 
tember, 1768, 384-388. 

Coolidge, A. J., donation from, 309. 

Cooper, Rev. Dr. Samuel, 31, 44. 

Cooper, William Durrant, 149, 287. Do- 
nations from, 146, 197. 

Copper coinage, American, from 1793 to 
1807, presented by G. D. Welles, 310. 

Corbin, Richard, 138. 

Correspondence. — See " Letters," p. 457. 

Corresponding Members, deceased, 20. 
Elected, 52, 54, 124, 197, 228, 258, 287, 
310. Acceptance of membership, 54, 

107, 139, 226, 287, 309, 330, 365. 
Corresponding Secretary (Joseph Wil- 
lard), 1, 14, 19, 20, 21, 52, 54, 66, 107, 

108, 124, 133, 134, 139, 146, 197, 226, 
235, 272, 287, 309, 330, 379, 384, 424, 
430, 437, 438. His paper on Natural! 
zation in the American Colonies, 337- 

Corsini, Prince, 201. 

Cortes, 277, 279, 281, 282. 

Cothren, William, donation from, 373. 

Couch made for General Lafayette, dona- 
tion from Charles D. Kellogg, 146. 

County Commissioners of Barnstable 
County, donations from, 196, 226. 

County Commissioners of Bristol County, 
donation from, 146. 

County Commissioners of Norfolk County, 
donation from, 146. 

Cradock, Governor, 155, 156, 157, 158. 

Cragie House, the, 414. 

Craigie, Andrew, 65. 

Crane, Major, 295. 

Crittenden, Hon. J. J., elected an Honora- 
ry Member, 197. 

Crossed Swords, the, a poem by Rev. Dr. 
Frothingham, 284-285. 

Croswell, Rev. Andrew, 354. 

Crowninshield, Edward A. Elected a 
Resident Member, 140. Decease of, 
206, 240. 

Culpepper, Lord, 348. 

Cunningham, Michael, 358. 



Curtis, George T., ISO, 379. Elected a Re- 
sident Member, 123. His acceptance of 
membership, 124. His remarks on \Y. 
H. Prescott, 190-194. 

Gushing, Captain Charles, 298. 

Cushing, Hon. Caleb. Elected a Resident 
Member, 197. His acceptance of mem- 
bership, 226. 

Cushing. John, Justice in 1765, 49. 

Cushing, Thomas, 388. 

Custis, Georse Washington, 150. 

Custis, Nelly, 415. 

Cutts, President, 345. 

Cuvier, 313. 


Daille', Rev. Peter, 354. 

Dana, Judge, 287. 

Dana, Richard H., jun., 309. Elected a 

Resident Member, 123. His acceptance 

of membership, 124. 
Dane, Nathan, the lawver, 346. 
Danforth. S.. 222. 

Daniel's " Milice Francaise," 127, 128. 
Dartmouth, Lord, 23, 215, 297. 
Davis. E. A., donation from. 379. 
Davis, Edward, 63. 
Davis, Hon. George T., 19. 
Davis, Hon. William T., donation from. 54. 
Davis, Judge, 113. 141. 142. 143. 227. 
Dawson. Henrv B., donations from, 140, 

146, 196, 226*. 286, 365. 
Deane, Charles, 19, 26. 52, 77, 110, 134, 

135, 144, 167, 234, 242. 272, 286, 287, 

330. 365, 373, 430, 438.' 
Dearborn, General, 76. 

Death of Lord Bravbrooke and Rev. Dr. 
Bliss, 20. Of William H. Prescott. 167. 
Of Edward A. Crowninshield. 206. Of 
Henrv Hallam, 207. Of Alexander 
Humboldt, 312. Of Thomas G. Carv. 

331. Of Hon. Rufus Choate, 365. Of 
Washington Irving, 393. Of Lord Ma- 
caulay, 426. Of Henry D. Gilpin, 432. 

December meetings, 139.' 391. 

Dehon, Theodore, 342. 343, 344. 

Delancee party, the, 230. 

Dennett, William H., donation from, 107. 

Denison. Rev. F., donation from, 133. 

Department of State of the United States, 

donations from, 133, 235, 309. 329. 
Derbv. Captain Richard, 22, 23, 24, 25. 
Dessalines, 430. 

Dexter, Henry, sculptor, 334, 335, 337. 
Diary of Rev." Dr. John Pierce. 5, 9, 10-11. 
Diaries of Increase and Cotton Mather, 

Diary of Lawrence Hammond. 12. 
Diary of Josiah Quincy. jun., 47-51. 
Diarv of a voung ladv visiting Boston in 

1774, 123* 
Diary of Thomas Newell. 216-224. 
Dickens. Charles, and Washington Irving. 

Dillaway, C. K., donation from, 437. 
Dividends, 252. 

Donations for the Librarv. 1. 9-15. 22. 51. 
54. 107, 122, 123. 124, 129, 133, 134, 139. 
14U, 146, 148, 196, 197, 226, 22-. 286, 
287, 309, 310, 329, 330, 373, 378, 379, 
3-4. 391, 424. 429. 436. 437. 438. 

Donations, other. 2-3. 112. 133. 134, 140, 
146, 148, 22S. 244. 255. 25& 273. 285, 
286, 308. 310. 311. 322, 335. 379, 384, 
390, 391. 397. 424, 425. 

Dorchester. Lord, in 1628. 154. 

Doty, Colonel, of Stoughton, 291. 

Downer, Dr. Eliphalet. 294. 

Downing, Emanuel. 129. 

Downing. Sir George. 128-129. 

Dowse Fund. 241. 251. 253. 254. 

Dowse Librarv, 4. 8, 9, 17-18. 244, 254, 
336, 337. 

Dowse. Thomas. 8. 113. 125. 134. 145. 242. 
244. 251. 253, 254. 319, 320, 335, 336, 

Dress of Washington. 150-153. 

Drew. Captain John. 303. 

Dudley. Governor : his letter to the Coun- 
tess of Lincoln. 127. 155. 

Dudlevs (the) of Massachusetts. 20-21. 

Duke of Hamilton in 1665. 274. 

Duncan, H. T., donation from, 133. 

Dupin, Baron Charles: his opinion of 
Massachusetts, 119. His claim to a 
token of honor from an American uni- 
versity. 232. 233. 234. Elected an Ho 
norary Member, 258. 

Durant. Augustus, donation from. 437. 

Duyckink's^Cyclopgedia. 418. 

D wight, Colonel, of Berkshire, 42. 

Earl of Dunmore, of Virginia, 38. 

Earl of Lauderdale, Secretarv for Scot- 
land, 274. 

Egery, Captain Daniel, 303. 

Ehrenberg, 317. 

Election of Members. — See " Corre- 
sponding Members,'" p. 452: "Honorary 
Members," p. 455 ; and " Resident Mem- 
bers,'' p. 461. 

Election of Officers, 19. 272. 

Election of Washington as Commander- 
in-chief of the American Army, 56- 
57, 68-75. 

Eli<>t-Librarv Association, donation from, 

Eliot, Rev. John, 112. 

Eliot, Samuel, letters from the papers of, 

Ellerv, Benjamin, 64, 65. 

Ellerv, William, letter from, 381-383. 

Ellis,* Rev. George E., D.D.. 51, 54, 77, 
140, 145, 224, 283. His remarks at the 
anniversarv of the battle of Bunker 
Hill, 75. 

Endicott, John, 155, 156. 

Engraving of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence presented, 391. 

Enrique, Don, de Vedia, 280. 

Epaulets of Washington, 6. 



Erving A., donation from, 235. 

Erving, George William, 363. 

Essex Institute, donations from the, 329, 
424, 429, 437. 

Estate on Tremont Street, 253. 

Eugenie, Empress of France, 428. 

Evacuation of Boston, 27-28, 32, 34, 36, 
38, 39. 

Everett, Alexander H., 400. 

Everett, Hon. Edward, 57, 116, 117, 125, 
134, 145, 148, 195, 205, 206, 224, 225, 
231, 234, 242, 244, 251, 309, 310, 335, 
406, 414, 416, 417, 424, 436. His state- 
ment relating to the preparation and 
delivery of his oration on Washington, 
86-106. His tribute of respect to the 
memory of Mr. Prescott, 198-205. To 
the memorv of Henrv Hallam, 207-213. 
Of Alexander Von Humboldt, 314-321. 
Of Washington Irving, 395-403. Of 
Lord Macaulay, 426. Of Henry D. Gil- 
pin, with resolutions, 432-436. 

Executive of Pennsylvania, donation from, 

Exhibitions of ancient hooks, manu- 
scripts, and other relics, 86, 116, 143, 
224, 225, 276, 284. 

Expenses of the Society, 240-242. 


Faribault, G. B., donation from the, 424. 
Farnum, Captain Benjamin, 303. 
Farrington, J. G. R., donation from, 309. 
Februarv meetings, 196, 429. 
Felt, Rev. Joseph B., 133, 147, 392. 
Felton, Professor, 145, 180, 234, 309, 336, 

395. His remarks on W. H. Prescott, 

184-187. On Washington Irving, 408- 

Field, Cyrus, 117. 
Finch, the Attorney-General, and Earl of 

Nottingham, 165. 
Fitch, Governor, 382. 
Fitch, Rev. Jabez, historical memoranda 

of, 12. 
Fitzherbert, 375, 380. 
Florence, Hon. Thomas B., donation from, 

Force's " Archives," 22, 24, 60, 61. 
Formation of the Society, 110-112. 
Forsyth, John, 433. 
Foster, Lieutenant, 296. 
Foster, Rev. Mr., chaplain, 296. 
Francis, Colonel Ebenezer, donation of 

his watch, 148. 
Francisco, Don, de Funentes y Guzman, 

Franklin, Dr. Benjamin, 6, 17, 24, 25-26, 

43, 44, 82, 117, 129, 143, 225. 
Franklin, John, brother of Benjamin 

Franklin, 143. 
Fremantle, Sir Thomas, 323. 
Frothingham, Rev. Nathaniel L., D.D.: 

his remarks on W. H. Prescott, 180- 

184. His lines entitled " The Crossed 

Swords," 284-285. 

Frothingham, Richard, jun. — See " Trea- 
surer," p. 463. 
Fuel, furniture, and gas-fixtures, 251. 


Gage, General, 23, 24, 25, 79, 81, 219, 231. 

Gardiner, Sir Christopher, Knight of the 
Golden Melice, 125-128. 

Gardiner, John Silvester John, D.D., 359. 

Gardiner, Hon. Robert, Hallowell. Elected 
a Corresponding Member, 287. His ac- 
ceptance of membership, 330. 

Gardiner Sylvester: his proposition to 
build an inoculating hospital, 324-328. 

Gardiner, William H., 264, 265, 266. His 
letter as to the bequest of W. H. Pres- 
cott, 258-264. 

Gardner, F. G., 323. 

Gardner, George, donations from, 1, 11. 

Gas, a paper on the introduction of, 383. 

Gates, General, 82, 83, 130, 131, 287, 299, 

General account for the year ending 
April, 1859, 251. 

Gerry, Elbridge, 73, 287. 

Gibbon and Hallam, the historians, 209. 

Gilliss, Lieutenant J. M., donation from, 

Gilmor, William, of Baltimore, 143. 

Gilpin, Hon. Henry D., elected Corre- 
sponding Member, 258. His acceptance 
of membership, 287. His death an- 
nounced, 432. Mr. Everett's remarks 
on the excellences of his personal and 
literary character, 432-436. Resolutions 
passed, 436. 

Gomara, the secretary of Cortez, 279. 

Goodwin, W. F., donation from, 365. 

Gore, Governor, portrait of, 108. 

Gorges, Sir Ferdinando, 156, 275. 

Gorges, Captain Robert, 114. 

Gorget of General Washington, 44-46. 

Gould, Benjamin A., 428. 

Gould, Captain, 296. 

Gosnold, Bartholomew, 113. 

Grahame, Lieutenant-Colonel J. D., U. S. 
A., donation from, 54. 

Granville, Cardinal, 236, 237. 

Graves, Admiral, 81, 220. 

Gray, Hon. John C, 147, 167, 330, 331, 
332, 439. His remarks on W. H. Pres- 
cott, 176-177. 

Greaton, Colonel, 295, 298, 299, 305. 

Gregoire, Madame, 361. 

Green, Hon. Albert G., elected a Corre- 
sponding Member, 124. His acceptance 
of membership, 139. 

Green, Samuel A., M.D., donations from, 
51, 54, 107, 124, 139, 146. 196, 226, 235, 
309, 330, 391, 424, 430, 437. Elected a 
Resident Member, 425. His acceptance 
of membership, 430. 

Greene, General, 287. 

Greenleaf, William, Sheriff of Worcester, 
33, 38. 

Greenough, Richard S., 167. 



Greenwood, Isaac I., of New York, 430. 

Grenville, Lord William Wyndham, 375, 

Grenville, Thomas, 202. 

Gridley, Captain, 298. 

Griswold, Eoger, Governor of Connecti- 
cut, 82. 

Groward, John, 353, 354. 

Guicciardini, Count, 201. 

Guild, Benjamin, donation from, 133. 

Guild, Captain Joseph, 297. 

Guild, R. A., donation from, 391. 

Guizot, Francois Pierre Guillaume, dona- 
tion of his works from, 14. His opinion 
of Macaulay, 429. 

Gullager's portrait of Washington, 244. 


Hale, Hon. Charles, donation from the, 

Hall, Bruce, Coffin, and Gorham, captains 

of ships with the " detested East-^ndia 
Company's tea," 217-219. 
Hallam, Henry, death of, 207, 240, 313, 

429. His merits as an historian, 208- 

213. His family relations, 211-212. 

Resolutions of the Society, 213. 
Hallowell, Benjamin, Comptroller in 1765, 

Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 411. 
Hamilton, Alexander, 287. 
Hammond, Hon. J. H., donations from, 

196, 226. 
Hammond, Lawrence, of Charlestown, 

diary of, 12. 
Hancock, Charles L., donation from, 228. 
Hancock. John, 26, 27, 34, 38, 41, 44, 57, 

86, 217, 228, 287, 387, 388. 
Hancock, Madam Lydia, 34. 
Hancock, Thomas, 34. 
Hare, Sylvanus, of Petersham, 224. 
Harper and Brothers, 330. 
Harrison, Colonel, of Virginia, 82. 
Harrison, Collector of the Customs in 

Boston in 1773, 218. 
Harvard College, a manuscript volume of 

Rev. Dr. Belknap on, 12. Corporation 

of, 108. Donations from, 378, 384. First 

and Second Commencement at, 439- 

Haven, C. C, donation from, 1. 
Haven, S. F., elected a Resident Member, 

113. His acceptance of membership, 

Hawley, Major, 59. 
Hazard, Ebenezer, 136. His letter re 

specting the expedition to Penobscot, 

Head-quarters of General Washington, 

Cambridge, 56, 113. 
Heath, General William, 287, 288, 289, 

290, 292, 294, 296, 297, 298, 300, 301, 

302, 303, 305, 306, 307. Collection of 

the manuscripts of, presented by Amos 

A. Lawrence, 287. 

Hedge, Rev. Frederic H., D.D., 1, 330, 

Henshaw, C. C, donations from, 196, 226. 
Henshaw, Joshua, 65. 
Herring, Thomas J., donations from, 196, 

Hervey, Rev. Lord Arthur, elected a 
Corresponding Member, 287". His ac- 
ceptance of membership, 365. 
Hildreth, Richard. Elected a Correspond- 
ing Member, 52. His acceptance of 
membership, 107. 
Hill, Captain, 298. 

Hill, Rev. A., D.D., donation from, 437. 
Hillard, George S.: his remarks on Lord 

Macaulay, 426-427. 
Historical memoranda of Rev. Jacob Fitch, 

12; of Hugh Adams, 12. 
Historical Trust Fund, 241, 251, 252, 255. 
Historical Societies, donations from, 1, 13, 
14, 51, 54, 107, 122, 124, 146, 228, 286, 
309, 365, 378, 384, 391, 424, 437. 
Hitchborn, Benjamin, escape of, 79-81. 
Hitchcock, Daniel, field-officer, 302, 303. 
Hivrey, D', the Hellenist, 234. 
Holland, Josiah G., M.D. Elected a Resi- 
dent Member, 52. His acceptance of 
membership, 54. 
Holmes, Rev. Dr.: his Memoir of French 

Protestants, 354. 
Holmes, Oliver W., M.D. : his remarks on 

Washington Irving, 418-422. 
Holt, the English lawyer, 162. 
Hoinans, J. Smith, donation from, 391. 
Honorary Members elected, 20, 54, 197, 
228, 258, 287. Acceptance of member- 
ship, 52, 107, 235, 330. 
Hooker, Rev. H. B., D.D., donations from, 

139, 146. 
Hooker's " Ecclesiastical Polity," 211. 
Hopkins, Rev. Dr., of Newport, 382. 
Howard Association, Norfolk, Va., dona- 
tion from, 1. 
Howe, General, 27, 28, 34, 35, 36, 77. 
Howe, Lord, 380. 

Howorth, Mr. : his cleaning and retouch- 
ing the portraits of Lafayette and Cor 
tez, 108-109. 
Huguenots, 348. 

Humboldt, Baron Alexander Von, 236, 
277, 283. His death announced, 312. 
Resolutions passed on the occasion, 312 
-313. Tributes to his memory by 
George Ticknor and Hon. Edward" Eve- 
rett, 313-321. His recognition of God 
and of the truth of Christianity, 320- 
Humboldt, William Von, 319, 320. 
Hubbard, Rev. Mr., of Hingham, 283. 
Hudson, Captain, of the " Niagara," 116. 
Hudson, Hon. Charles, 425, 430. Elected 
a Resident Member, 310. His accept- 
ance of membership, 330. 
Hume and Hallam compared, 209, 210, 

Hume, David, 372. 
Hunter, Rev. Joseph, of London, 342. 



Hutchinson, Governor, 29, 30, 46, 48-50, 

215, 218, 219, 220, 388, 439. 
Huntington, Rev. Dr., donation from, 384. 
Hyde, Edward, 253. 


Income, 254. 

Indiana Historical Society, donation from 
the, 391. 

Inoculation, 326-328. 

Insurance, 251. 

Interpretation, by Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, of the title, " Knight of the Gol- 
den Melice," 125-128. 

Invitation for the Society to be present 
at laying the corner-stone of the monu- 
ment to the Pilgrim Fathers, 330-331. 

Iroquois Indians, 278-279. 

Irving, Ebenezer, 408. 

Irving, Dr. Peter, 404, 407-408. 

Irving, Pierre M., 431. 

Irving, Hon. Washington, 57, 58, 60, 61, 
63, 262, 429, 431-432. His death an- 
nounced, 393. Tribute to his personal 
and literary character by Prof. Long- 
fellow, with Resolutions, 393-395. By 
Hon. Edward Everett, 395-403. Colo- 
nel Aspinwall, 404-408. Professor Fei- 
ton, 408-418. Dr. Holmes, 418-422. 
George Sumner, in a letter, 422-423. 
Hon. R. C. Winthrop, in a lettei*, 427. 

Izard, Ralph, his letter to Hon. J. Lowell, 


Jackson, Francis, donation from, 330. 

Jackson, General, 143, 403. 

Jackson, Joseph, 387. 

Jackson, Rev. Samuel C., D.D.. dona- 
tions from, 122, 373. 

Jackson, Sergeant, 297. 

James II., 165. 

Januarv meetings, 145, 424. 

Jay, John, 375, 377. 

Jeffries, Lord Chancellor, 165. 

Jencks, John, of Providence, 382. 

Jenks, Rev. William, D.D., 145, 365. 

Johnson, B. P., donations from, 51, 373, 
391, 424, 437. 

Johnson, Isaac, the contemporary of Gov- 
ernor Winthrop, 155. 

Johnson, Thomas, of Maryland, 74. 

Johonnot, Daniel, 350, 353, 354. 

Jomard, M. : his exertions on behalf of 
American science and literature, 232, 
233, 234. Elected an Honorary Mem- 
ber, 258. 

Jones, Sir William, Attorney-General, 160. 

Journal and Letter-book of General Rains- 
ford exhibited, 86. 

Journal of a tour to the camp at Cam- 
bridge, in 1775, by Dr. Belknap, 77-86. 

Journal of some occurrences in the camp 
at Roxbury, 294-296. 

July meetings, 107, 329. 

June meetings, 54, 309. 


Kalb, Baron De, 287. 

Kellogg, Charles D., donation from, 146. 

Kemp, N. P., donations from, 196, 226. 

Kennedy, Hon. John P., 235. Elected a 
Corresponding Member, 124. His ac- 
ceptance of membership, 139. 

Kent, William H., donation from, 123. 

Keppel, Admiral, 151-152. 

Keppel, Captain, 151. 

Keppel, Hon. and Rev. Thomas, 151-152. 

Kirkbridge, Thomas S., M.D., donation 
from, 235. 

Knight of the Golden Melice, 125-128. 

Knox, General, 287, 361. A letter of, 
when engineer, 66-68. 

Kohl, Dr. S. G. : his acceptance of mem- 
bership, 133. 

Kosciusko, 267. 

Kuhn, George H., donations from, 196, 226. 


Lafavette and Cortez, portraits of, re- 
touched, 108-109. 

Lafavette, General, 287, 361. Couch made 
for, 146. 

Lalemant, Father, 278. 

Lamont, the dedicator of a volume of 
poetry to Washington, 153. 

Lamson, Rev. Alvan, D.D., 124, 139,197, 
226, 235, 286. 

Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 
141-142, 144. 

Latham, Williams, 439. Elected a Resi- 
dent Member, 287. His acceptance of 
membership, 309. 

Lathrop, Rev. John, D.D., portrait of, 

Latour, L. A. Huguet, donations from, 51, 
107,122, 133, 196, 226,286. 

Lavicourt, John, of Antigua, 64. 

Lawrence, Hon. Abbott, portrait of, pre- 
sented by Mrs. Abbott Lawrence, 308. 

Lawrence, Amos A., donations of manu- 
scripts, &c, from, 287, 288, 289, 290. 

Lawrence, Colonel T. B., donations from, 
196, 226. 

Lawrens, Colonel, 151. 

Lee, Arthur, 23, 57. 

Lee, General, 57, 59, 61, 62, 67, 68, 73, 74, 
82, 83, 287, 305, 306, 307. 

Lee, Rev. John, of Edinburgh, death of, 

Lee, Richard Henry, 69. 

Lee, T., 222. 

Lee, Thomas, donation from, 391. 

Lee, Major William R., Orderly-book of, 

Lee, William Raymond, 152. 

Lenox, James, donations from, 54, 107, 
122, 286, 373, 384, 429, 436. His copies 
of Washington's " Farewell Address," 
62. His edition of Nicolaus Syllacius, 

Leslie, the artist, 405. 




Letter-book of Edmund Quincv, father of 
Mrs. Hancock, 12, 26. 

Letter-book of Governor Belcher, dona- 
tion of the, 52. 

Letters, Belknap, 11. 

Letters from the following persons and 
societies read and referred to : — 

Executive of Pennsylvania, 1-2. 

Hon. Stephen Salisbury, 2. 

Leverett Saltonstall, 2-3. 

Dr. Isaac Watts to Dr. Coleman, 12. 

Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, 

Joseph Warren, 26. 

Dr. Franklin to Edmund Burke, 25-26. 

Edmund Quincy to John Hancock, 27- 

Edmund Quincy to Madam Lydia Han- 
cock, 34-41. 

S. A. Otis to James Otis the elder, 53. 

General Knox to his wife, 66-68. 

Judge Prescott to Rev. George E. Ellis, 

W. H. Prescott to the Society, 106. 

Eev. Dr. Lowell, presenting Rev. Dr. 
Mayhew's inkstand, 107-108. 

Corporation of Harvard College to the 
Society, 108. 

Hon. Edward Everett on the Atlantic 
Submarine Electric Telegraph Cable, 

James Bowdoin, Governor of Massachu- 
setts, to the Governor of the State of 
Maryland, 120. 

Governor Josiah Winslow, 123. 

Ebenezer Hazard on the expedition to 
Penobscot, 129-133. 

Lord Lyttelton, 134-136. 

General Washington to Rev. Dr. Bel- 
knap, 136-138. 

Dr. Franklin on the death of his bro- 
ther, 143. 

General Jackson to Mr. Poinsett, 143- 

Hon. David Sears, 195. 

Hon. Rufus Choate, 196. 

Henrv Hallam to Hon. Edward Everett, 

Governor Hutchinson to Lord Dart- 
mouth, 215-216. 

Professor B. Silliman, 227-228. 

A Gentleman, whose name is unknown, 
on the state of affairs in 1775, 228- 

Robert Walsh to Hon. Edward Everett, 

Hon. Richard Rush, 235-237. 

William H. Gardiner to Hon. Robert C. 

Winthrop, 258-264. 
J. Lothrop Motley to William Amory, 

Sir Hobert Carr, Knt., to the Right 
Honorable the Earl of Lauderdale, 
Amos A. Lawrence to George Liver- 
more, 288. 

Letters — continued. 

General Washington to Major-General 

Heath, 289-290. 
Nath. Patten to the Selectmen for Rox- 

bury, 291-292. 
General Heath to General Washington, 

296-297, 299-300, 302, 305-306. 
Artemas Ward to General Washington, 

General Lee to General Washington, 

William C. Rives, jun., to Hon. Robert 

C. Winthrop, 3li. 
Samuel J. Bridge to Hon. Robert C. 

Winthrop, 322-323. 
F. G. Gardner to Samuel J. Bridge, 323. 
Rev. Dr. Blagden and others to the 

Historical Society, 332-334. 
Henry Dexter, sculptor, to George Liv- 

ermore, 334-335. 
Charles Lowell, D.D., 374, 379. 
A member of Congress to Hon. J. 

Lowell, 375-377. 
Ralph Izard to Hon. J. Lowell, 379-381. 
William Ellery, 381-383. 
Frederick W. Thayer, 384. 
Hon. Peter Parker and Hon. Robert 

McLane to the Department of State, 

Hon. R. C. Winthrop, 392. 
Washington Irving to Professor Felton, 

George Sumner on the character of 

Washington Irving, 422-423. 
The Librarian of Bowdoin College to 

the Society, 424. 
R. C. Winthrop on the death of Irving 

and of Macaulay, 427-429. 
Isaac I. Greenwood, of New York, 

W. H. Prescott to Washington Irving, 

431, 432. 

Levasseur, Mons., 281. 

Leverett, Rev. Charles E., 309. 

Lewis, Alonzo. 114. 

Lexington, battle of, 22-26, 51, 70, 86, 294. 

Librarian (Rev. Samuel K. Lothrop, 
D.D.), 1, 8, 13, 16, 17, 19, 51, 54, 107, 
122, 124, 133, 134, 146, 196, 226, 235, 
242, 245, 246, 249, 272, 285, 286, 308, 
309, 329, 365, 373, 378, 383, 424, 429, 

Librarian, Assistant (John Appleton, 
M.D.), 5, 9, 241, 251. 

Library, 4-5, 8-18, 52, 53, 124, 242, 254. 

Library Committee, 17. 

Library, the Dowse, 4, 8, 9, 17-18. 

Lieber* Dr. Francis: his acceptance of 
membership, 107. 

Lincoln, General, 287. 

Lincoln, Hon. Levi, elected a Resident 
Member, 147. His acceptance of mem- 
bership, 197. 

Lincoln, Hon. Solomon, 19, 228, 272, 439. 

Linzee, Captain: his sword, 259, 264, 




Livermore, Georsre, 19, 51, 54, 86, 98, 105, 
107, 113, 116, 117, 123, 139, 146, 150, 228, 
237, 243, 245, 287, 288, 330, 334, 335, 
392, 430. His remarks on the presenta- 
tion of a bust of Hon. Robert C. Win- 
throp, 335-336. 

Livingston, Edward, 433, 435. 

Llorente's " History of the Inquisition," 
126, 128. 

Lobb, Captain Jacob: his cruel treatment 
of passengers from Holland, 355, 356. 

Longfellow, Professor, 52, 55, 64, 113, 142, 
146, 384, 406, 410, 414, 418. Remarks 
on Washington Irving, 393-395. 

Lopez, Aaron, the Jew, 342, 343. 

Lothrop, Loring, 334. 

Lothrop, Rev. Samuel K., D.D. — See 
" Librarian," p. 457. 

Lousada, Marquis de, donation from, 235. 

Lovell, General, 131. 

Lowell, Rev. Charles, D.D., 107, 108, 374, 
379, 384. Re-elected a Resident Mem- 
ber, 331. His acceptance of member- 
ship, 365. 

Lowell, Hon. John, letters to, 374-377, 

Lowell, John Amory, 439. 

Lynch, Thomas, of Carolina, 82. 

Lyndhurst, Lord, 52. 


Macaulay, Lord: resolutions respecting 
his death, and tributes to his memory, 
426-427, 429. 

Mackay, Captain, 79, 82. 

MacKenzie, Captain, 69. 

Mackintosh, Sir James, 127. 

Madison, Bishop, 138. 

Madison, President, likeness of, 311. On 
naturalization, 357. 

Maine Historical Society, donation from 
the, 424. 

Mann, Sir Horace, 24. 

Mannadoes, or New Amsterdam, plan of, 
presented, 425. 

Manning, Rev. J. M., 334. 

Mansfield, Mr., chaplain of General Tho- 
mas's regiment, 78, 81. 

Manuscripts, 12, 86, 123, 225, 378, 379, 384, 
430, 438, 439. Arrangements necessary 
for preserving, 16-17. 

March meetings, 226, 437. 

Marriages, solemnization of, in the early 
period of New England, 283-284. 

Marsh, Hon. George P., elected a Corre- 
sponding Member, 54. His acceptance 
of membership, 107. 

Martin, Governor, of North Carolina, 38. 

Marshal of France, Washington not a, 

Maryland Historical Society, donations 
from, 1, 51. 

Mason, Kev. Charles, elected a Resident 
Member, 384. 

Mason, Captain John, 156, 275. 

Mason, Mrs. Sarah Ellen, donation from, 

Massachusetts Antislavery Society, dona- 
tion from, 373. 

Massachusetts Bible Society, donation 
from, 139. 

Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Asso- 
ciation, 378. 

Massachusetts-Charter Act, 230, 291. 

Massachusetts Colonization Society, dona- 
tion from, 139. 

Massachusetts Colony Charter, 344, 356. 

Massachusetts Committee of Safety in 
1775, 22, 25. 

Massachusetts Humane Society, donation 
from the Trustees of the, 134. 

Massachusetts, Baron Dupin's opinion of, 

Massachusetts, donation from the Secre- 
tary of the State of, 122. 

Mather, Cotton, 20, 21, 148-149. 

Mather, Increase and Cotton, diaries of, 

Mattahunts, the isles of, 114. 

Maurepas, Count, 42. 

Maury, Lieutenant, 234. 

Maverick, Samuel, 274. 

Maxey, Rev. E. W., donation from, 365. 

Mavhew, Rev. Jonathan, D.D. : his leaden 
inkstand, 107-108. 

Mavhew, Thomas, Justice of the Peace 
for the County of Plymouth, 123. 

May meetings, 51, 286. 

Mc'Guire, John C, donation of a medallion 
likeness of President Madison from, 

McLane, Hon. Robert, 390. 

McLean, Colonel, 132. 

Medals of Washington Allston and Gilbert 
Stuart, 133-134. 

Medford, the origin of the name of the 
town of, 112. 

Meetings, Annual, 1, 234. Special, 55, 
140, 147, 167, 205, 273, 393, 425. Stated 
monthlv, 51, 54, 107, 112, 122, 124, 133, 
139, 145, 196, 226, 286, 309, 329, 364, 
373, 378, 383, 391, 424, 429, 437. 

Melbourne, Lord, 210. 

Members, election of. — See " Correspond- 
ing Members," p. 452; " Honorary Mem- 
bers," p. 455 ; and " Resident Members," 
p. 461. 

Menou, Count Jules de, donations from, 
146, 309, 330. The reception of his col- 
lection of maps, 310. Elected Honorary 
Member, 20. His acceptance of mem- 
bership, 133. 

Menzies, William, donation from, 51. 

Mercantile-Library Association, donation 
from, 122. 

Mercantile-Library Association of Phila- 
delphia, donation from, 437. 

Mercier, Andrew Le, 350, 853, 354. 

Messinger, Samuel, 46. 

Metcalf, Hon. Theron, donation from, 430. 

Mifflin. Thomas, aid-de-camp to General 
Washington, 61, 82, 84. 



Mignet, M., 201. 

Miller, the London publisher, 405. 

Milton, John, 225, 283. 

Miniature of Washington, 284. 

Molineaux, William, "a true son of liberty, 

Monthly special or social meetings. — See 
" Meetings," p. 458. 

Monthly, stated, meetings. — See " Meet- 
ings," p. 458. 

Mooar, Rev. George, 391. 

Moodv, Samuel, schoolmaster, at New- 
bury Falls, 224. 

Moore, George H., donations from, 287, 

309. Elected a Corresponding Member, 

310. His acceptance of membership, 

Moore, Thomas: his anecdote of Wash- 
ington Irving, 413. 

Morse, S. E., 117. 

Morton, Nathaniel, the historian, 127. 

Motions. — See " Resolutions," p. 461. 

Motlev, J. Lothrop: his letter respecting 
W. *H. Prescott, 266-271, 431. 

Mount -Vernon Fund, the Hon. Edward 
Everett's statement respecting his ora- 
tion on behalf of the, 86-106. 

Mulligan, Rev. John: his translation of 
Nicolaus Svllacius. 437. 

Mullins, Priscilla, 142. 

Murray, the London publisher, 398, 405. 

Museum, 18, 242. 

Mvnherr, 375. 


Nahant, the peninsula of, 112, 114-115, 

Nashville Chamber of Commerce, dona- 
tion from, 1. 

National Portrait Gallery, London, dona- 
tion from the trustees of, 384. 

" Naturalization in the American Colo- 
nies," a paper communicated by Joseph 
Willard, 337-364. 

Navarrete's Spanish Collections, 400, 401, 

New-England Female Medical College, 
donation from the, 391. 

New-England Historic- Genealogical So- 
ciety, invitation from the, 373. Dona- 
tions from the, 384, 424, 429. 

New-England Library, 333. 

" New England's First Fruits," 439, 450. 

Newell, Thomas, diary of, 216-224. 

New-Hampshire Asylum for the Insane, 
donations from the Trustees of the, 

Newman, S. C, donations from, 235, 379. 

New- Jersey Historical Society, donations 
^ from, 146, 365. Donation to, 309. 

New- York Historical Society, donations 
from, 13, 228. 

New-York Provincial Congress, 58. 

New-York State Agricultural Society, do- 
nations from, 1, 122, 124, 235, 286, '365. 

New-York State Library, donations from 
the Trustees of, 365, 378, 384. 

Nichols, Colonel Richard, 160, 274, 275. 

Niles's History of the Indian and French 
Wars, 378, 379. 

Nixon, Thomas, 303. 

Nomination of members, 239-240. 

Nomination of Washington as Commander- 
in-chief of the American Army, 56-57, 

Norfolk County, donation from the County 
Commissioners of, 146. 

Norfolk Howard Association, donation 
from, 1. 

North, Chief-Justice, 160. 

North, Lord, 25, 81. 

Norton, Charles B., 124, 255, 258. 

November meetings, 133, 383. 

Nunn, Lieutenant, 23. 


Oaths appointed to be taken instead of 

the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, 

and declaration, 255-257. 
O'Callaghan, Dr. E. B., donations from, 

196, 226, 379. 
October meetings, 124, 378. 
Officers, nomination and election of, 19. 
Ohio State Library, donations from the, 

122, 235. 
Old South Church, 332, 333, 334. 
Oliver, Andrew, Secretary of the Province 

of Massachusetts Bay, 47. 
Oliver, Peter, Chief-Justice, 49, 221. 
Oliver, Lieutenant-Governor Thomas, 63, 

64, 222. 
Orders to be observed by the commanding 

officer and guard at Lechmere's Point, 

Otis, Isaac, jun., donation from, 379. 
Otis, James, the elder, 53. 
Otis, James, the younger, 53, 388. 
Otis, S. A., 53. 


Packard, Prof. A. S., donation from, 373. 

Page, an Episcopalian clergyman, 83, 

Paige, Rev. Lucius R., 51, 167. His re- 
miniscences of the Vassal Family, 63- 
66. His remarks on Dr. Henry Bond, 

Palier, Philip, 353, 354. 

Palfrev, Rev. Dr., donation from, 146. 

Palmer, Dr. Joseph, 384, 439. Elected a 
Resident Member. 147. 

Parkman, Francis, 285. 

Parker, Hon. Joel, 235, 372, 384. Elected 
a Resident Member, 287. 

Parker, Hon. Peter, donations from, 390, 

Parsons, C. W. M.D., donation from, 424. 

Parsons, Samuel, a paper on the sufferings 
of, 383. 

Parsons, Hon. Theophilus, elected a Resi- 
dent Member, 374. His acceptance of 
membership, 379. 



Parsons, Usher, M.D., donations from, 
379, 384. 

Patten, Nath., 292. 

Peabody, Rev. A. P., D.D., 235. Elected 
a Corresponding Member, 52. His ac- 
ceptance of membership, 54. 

Peabody, George, 116. 

Peabody, Rev. Oliver, 123. 

Peabody Institute, donation from the 
Trustees of the, 286. 

Peale, C. W. : his portrait of Washington, 

Peale, Rembrandt: his lecture on Wash- 
ington and his Portraits, 384. 

Peel, Sir Robert, 212. 

Pemberton, Samuel, 387. 

Pennsylvania, Executive, Correspondence 
between the Corresponding Secretary 
and the, 1-2. 

Pennsylvania Historical Society, dona- 
tions from, 51, 437. 

Penobscot expedition in 1770, 129-131. 

Pepperell, Sir William, 42, 224. 

Percy, Lord, 24. 

Peraro, Emanuel, of Portugal, 342, 343. 

Perkins Institution, donation from the 
Trustees of, 54. 

Perry, Rev. W. S., donation from, 226. 

Petel, John, 350, 353. 

Peter, Mrs. Martha, grand-daughter of 
George Washington, 45-46. 

Peter, Thomas, 45. 

Peters, Dr. J. C, of New York, 421. 

Peyster, General J. Watts De, donations 
from, 1, 54, 286. 

Philadelphia, donation from the Carpen- 
ters' Company of, 54. 

Philippe, Louis, 233, 237. 

Phillips, Hon. H. M., donation from, 373. 

Phillips, John, first mayor of Boston, do- 
nation of the likeness of, 379. 

Phillips, Judge, 414. 

Phillips, Thomas W., donation from, 379. 

Phiney, Colonel, 298. 

Phips, Lieutenant-Governor Spencer, 63, 
64, 65, 66. 

Photograph of the Trustees of the Hu- 
mane Societv, 134. 

Pickering, Timothy, 288. 

Pierce, Rev. John, D.D., diary of, 5, 9, 

Pigot, General, 38, 67. 

Plymouth County, donation from the 
Committee on the Map of, 122. 

Poetry, fifty volumes of, presented by 
George Ticknor, 139. 

Polk, William H., donation from, 51. 

Pollexfen, Henry, Chief-Justice of the 
Common Pleas, 165. 

Poole, William E., donation from, 384. 

Portrait-gallery and cabinet, upper room 
suitable for, 7. 

Portrait of Sir Richard Saltonstall, 2-3, 5. 
Portraits of Washington, Jeremy Bel- 
knap, Thomas Dowse, and Edward Eve- 
rett, 244. Portrait of Rev. Dr. John 
Lathrop, 285. 

Portraits added to the collection during 

the past two years, 5. 
Powel, President, 131. 
Pownall, Thomas, 43. 
Pratt, Benjamin, Chief-Justice of New 

York, 43. 
Pratt, Corporal, 297. 

Preble, Lieutenant George H., a donation 
of two Chinese maps from, 140. 

Prescott, Colonel, 76, 259, 263, 264, 265, 

Prescott, John, of Halifax, N.S., 358. 
Prescott, Judge, 75, 77, 188. 
Prescott, William Hickling, 63, 106, 228, 
240, 277, 281, 283, 284, 313, 429, 431-432. 
His decease, 167. Meeting of the So- 
ciety to express the respect of the mem- 
bers for his character and services, 167. 
Address by the President, Hon. Robert 
C. Winthrop, respecting, 168-170, 195. 
By George Ticknor, 170-172. Bv Jared 
Sparks, 172-175, 177-178. By Rev. Dr. 
Walker, 175-176. By Hon. John C. 
Gray, 176-177. By Hon. Josiah Quincy , 
179-180. By Rev. Dr. Frothingham, 
180-184. By Professor Felton, 184-187. 
By Hon. James Savage, 188-190. By 
George T. Curtis, 190-194. By Hon. 
Edward Everett, 198-205. Letters from 
Hon. David Sears and Hon. Rufus 
Choate, 195-196. Resolutions of the 
Society, 172, 264-266. Letter from Pro- 
fessor B. Silliman, 227-228. From Hon. 
Richard Rush, 235-237. From William 
H. Gardiner, 258-264. From J. Lo- 
throp Motley, 266-271. George Ticknor 
appointed to prepare a Memoir of Mr. 
Prescott, 321-322. 

Prescott, Mrs. William H., 259, 263, 265. 

President (Hon. Robert C. Winthrop), 1, 
2, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 24, 51, 52, 54, 63, 86, 
105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 112, 117, 120, 121, 
122, 124, 133, 134, 139, 140, 141, 142, 145, 
146, 147, 148, 195, 196, 197, 205, 206, 213, 
214, 226, 227, 228, 231, 234, 235, 236, 248, 
235, 258, 264, 265, 272, 273, 276, 283, 286, 
287, 309, 310, 311, 312, 321, 322, 329, 330, 
334, 335, 336, 364, 392, 438. His remarks 
on the circumstances attending the as- 
sumption of the command of the Ameri- 
can Army by General Washington, 55- 
62. At Nahant, 113-116. His interpre- 
tation of the title, " Knight of the Golden 
Melice," 125-129. His remarks on W. 
H. Prescott, 168-170. On Henry Hal- 
lam, 207. On Washington Irving and 
Lord Macaulay (in letter), 427-429. 

Presle, De, the Hellenist, 234. 

Prichard, Ensign Thomas, 303. 

Prince, F. O., 44. 

Prince, Marshall James, 44. 

Prince, the annalist, 127. 

Prince Manuscripts, the, 439. 

Prince Library, return of the, to the Old 
South Church, 332-334. 

Prince of Orange's invasion, 165. 

Printing, binding, and stationery, 251, 253. 



Proceedings of the New- York Historical 
Society, donation of, 13. 

Proceedings of the Society, 243-245, 251, 
273, 381. 

Proceeds of eulogy on Thomas Dowse, 

Proctor, Captain, and his watch of twenty- 
five men, 218. 

Property of the Society, 253-254. 

Provident Savings Institution, 253. 

Province of Massachusetts Bav, 23, 24, 
337, 343, 349, 351, 354, 356. 

Provinces of Maryland and Pennsylva- 
nia, 341. 

Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 58, 
60, 61, 71, 72, 73, 292, 330. Of New 
York, 58. 

Publications suggested to be undertaken, 

Publishei-s of Colton's Cabinet Atlas, do- 
nation from the, 226. 

Publishing Committee, 2, 7, 19, 140, 241, 
244, 273, 378. 

Purple, S. S., M.D., donation from, 437. 

Putnam, General, 81, 83, 288, 298, 300. 


Quebec, capture of, 373-374. 

Quincv, Edmund, father of Mrs. Hancock, 
12, 26, 27, 33, 34, 392. 

Quincv, Edmund and Josiah, notice of, by 
Miss E. S. Quincv, 41-44. 

Quincy, Edmund, Judge, 41-42. 

Quincy, Esther, sister of Mrs. Hancock, 34. 

Quincv, Josiah, jun., 225, 228, 229. Diary 
of, 47-51. 

Quincv, Hon. Josiah, 22, 45-46, 47, 54-55, 
134/197-198, 225, 229, 235,241,254, 392, 
430. His remarks on W. H. Prescott, 

Quincv, Samuel, cousin of Edmund Quin- 
cv, 31. 

Quint, Rev. Alonzo H., 146, 286, 330, 373, 
430, 439. Elected a Resident Member, 


Rainsford, General, 86. 

Rainsford, Lord Chief-Justice, 160. 

Rand, Edward S.: his presentation of a 
copv of a plan of New Amsterdam, 425. 

Randolph, Edmund, 160, 163. 

Randolph, George W., of Richmond, 150. 

Record Commission of the Government of 
Great Britain, donation of the publica- 
tions of the, 14. 

Recording Secretarv (Rev. Chandler Rob- 
bins, D.D.), 1, 19; 54, 122, 124, 133, 139, 
146, 196, 197, 226, 235, 240, 242, 243, 265, 
272, 285, 286, 287, 309, 329, 330, 332, 334, 
336, 364, 365, 372, 373, 374, 378, 383, 384, 
390, 391, 392, 424, 425, 429, 430, 437, 438, 

Reed, Colonel, 82. 

Reed, George B., donation from, 373. 

Relation of incidents of a recent visit to 
Europe, by Jared Sparks, 117-120. 

Relics, 44, 86, 107, 148. 

Remarks, by Hon. R. C. Winthrop, on the 
circumstances attending the election of 
Washington as Commander-in-chief, 55- 
63. By Hon. Charles F. Adams on the 
causes that led to this election, 68-75. 

Reminiscences of the Vassal Family, 63- 

Report of the — 

Standing Committee, 4-7, 237-245. 

Librarian, 8-18, 246-249. 

Cabinet-Keeper, 18-19, 249-251. 

Committee on Treasurer's accounts, 19. 

Treasurer, 251-254. 

Committee on the manuscript, " Some 
Account of the Dudleys of Massa- 
chusetts," 20-21. 

Committee on the manuscript memoirs 
of Rev. Dr. Pierce, 109. 

Committee on the Cabinet, 125. 

Committee on the Belknap Donation, 

Committee to resist the infringement of. 
the Society's corporate name, 198. 

Publishing Committee, 273. 

Committee on Rev. Mr. Waddington's 
communication, 308. 

Resident Members elected, 20, 52, 54, 108, 
113, 123, 140, 147, 197, 228, 287, 310, 331, 
374, 384, 425. Acceptance of member- 
ship, 2, 107, 124, 226, 309, 330, 365, 379, 
430. Number of Resident Members al- 
lowed by Acts of Incorporation, 239- 

Resolutions passed, 2, 3, 51, 52, 55, 108, 
109, 123, 124-125, 134-135, 139, 140, 145, 
148, 172, 198, 213, 245, 258, 264-265, 273, 
290, 308, 310, 311, 312-313, 321, 324, 322, 
330, 331, 334, 336-337, 365-366, 372, 373- 
374, 378, 384, 390, 391, 395, 424, 425, 429, 
436, 438. 

Returns and reports of guards in 1775, 296, 
297, 298, 302, 303. 

Revere, Paul, 131, 219, 288. 

Revocation of the edict of Nantes, 348. 

Revolutionary Army, uniform of the, 149- 

Rich, Obadiah, 401. 

Richards, Daniel, 392. 

Rives, Hon. William C, 214. 

Rives, William C, jun., 310, 311. 

Robbins, Rev. Chandler, D.D. — See " Re- 
cording Secretary," supra. 

Robertson, Archibald, 225. 

Robertson, Miss A., 225. 

Robertson, the historian, 200, 209, 277, 278, 
279, 283. 

Robinson, E., donation from, 235. 

Robinson, B. P., donation from, 384. 

Robinson, Rev. J. P., donations from, 197, 

Roehambeau, Count de, 153. 

Roehrig, F. L. 0., donation from, 391. 



Rogers, the poet: his anecdote respecting 
his father's black suit, 25. His remark 
on Washington Irving, 399. 

Romilly, Joseph, of Cambridge, Eng., 309. 

Rose, Gustave, 317. 

Roswell, Sir Henry, 154. 

Rotch and the " detestable tea," 218. 

Rowe, John, 387. 

Roxbury, donation from the City of, 124. 

Roy, M. Le, 129. 

Royal Society of Antiquaries, donations 
from the, 13, 146, 286. 

Ruddock, John, 387. 

Rush, Hon. Richard, 63. Elected an 
Honorary Member, 54. His acceptance 
of membership, 107. Letter from, 235- 

Russell, Benjamin, 46. 

Russell, Thomas, 64. 

Rutledge, Edward, 57. 


Sabine, Hon. Lorenzo, 19, 51, 272, 373, 

Saciller, John, 353, 354, 355. 

Salaries, 251. 

Salem Athenseum, donation from the, 54. 

Sales of books, 251. 

Salisbury, Hon. Stephen: his acceptance 
of resident membership, 2. 

Saltmarsh, Rev. S., donation from, 309. 

Saltonstall, Governor, proclamation of, 

Saltonstall, Leverett, 139, 140, 391, 424, 
438. Letter from, 2-3. Elected a Resi- 
dent Member, 54. His acceptance of 
membership, 107. 

Saltonstall, Sir Richard, donation of por- 
trait of, 2-3. 

Salvandy, M. de, 237. 

Sanders, Charles, donation of portrait of 
Sir Richard Saltonstall, 2-3. 

Sargent, Winthrop, donation from, 286. 

Saunders, Edmund, Chief-Justice of the 
King's Bench, 165. 

Saurez, the Jesuit, 211. 

Savage, Hon. James, 1, 51, 53, 125, 127, 
129, 144, 145, 146, 180, 235, 283, 309, 425, 
430. His remarks on W. H. Prescott, 

" Savile Correspondence," donation of, 
from the editor, William Durrant 
Cooper, 146. 

Sawver, Attorney-General, 160, 165. 

Say," Lord, 274. 

Scammon, Colonel, 296. 

Scott, General, 133, 306. 

Scott, Joseph, 223. 

Schuyler, General, 57, 151, 288. 

Scott, Sir Walter, 259, 397, 398, 405. 

Sears, Hon. David (one of the Vice-Presi- 
dents), 19, 195, 241, 252, 266, 272, 378, 
383, 384, 391, 392, 393, 422, 424, 425, 
429, 437, 438. 

Sears, Rev. Edmund H., 424, 430. 

Secretaries of the Society. — See " Corre- 
sponding Secretary," p. 452; and " Re- 
cording Secretary," p. 461. 

Seci-etarv of the State of Massachusetts, 
donations from, 122, 309. 

September meetings, 122, 373. 

Sewall, Jonathan, 34. 

Sewall, S., 34. 

Shaack, Henry C. Van, donation from, 

Shakspeare, quoted, 128. 

Sharpe, Samuel, 155. 

Shattuck, Lemuel, death of, 147, 240. 

Shaw, Benjamin S., M.D., 437. 

Shaw, Hon. Lemuel, 66. 

Shaw, Lieutenant, 296. 

Shayler, Barns, &c, captains of ships for 
port of Boston in 1774, 219. 

Shedd, William B., donation from, 384. 

Sherburne, Major H., 305. 

Shipley, James, donation from, 52. 

Shippen, Dr., of Philadelphia, 69. 

Shirley, Governor, 43. 

Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., M.D. (Cabinet- 
Keeper), 6, 8, 18, 19, 52, 133, 139, 145, 
146, 197, 226, 235, 242, 251, 265, 272, 
286, 379, 424, 430, 438. 

Sibley, John Langdon, 1, 26, 51, 52, 129, 
139, 146, 197, 226, 284, 286, 309, 384, 

Sigourney, Andrew, sen., 350, 353, 354. 

Siege of Boston, 294, 296. 

Silliman, Professor B., letter from, 227- 

Skeen, Major, 229. 

Skioldebrand, the Swedish consul at Al- 
giers, 315. 

Small-pox, the fatality of, 325. 

Smith, Sir James, 165-166. 

Smith, Captain John, 114. 

Smith, Miss M. A., donation from, 424. 

Smithsonian Institution, donations from 
the, 146, 286, 365. 

Smyth, J. F. D., 150. 

Snow, Samuel T., donation from, 391. 

Somerby, Horatio Gates, elected a Cor- 
responding Member, 287. His accept- 
ance of membership, 309. 

Somers, Lord Chancellor, 162, 163, 164. 

" Sons of Freedom," 218. 

South Carolina, donation from the State 
of, 54. 

Souther, Nathaniel, 162. 

Sparks, Jared, LL.D. (one of the Vice- 
Presidents), 19, 45, 69, 116, 143, 153, 
177, 215, 216, 225, 272, 288, 289, 290, 
308, 373, 374, 384, 414, 430. Incidents 
of his recent visit to Europe, 117-120. 
His remarks on W. H. Prescott, 172- 
175, 177-178. 

Special Committee recommended to be 
chosen for the more speedy sale of the 
Society's books, 6. For the arrange- 
ment of the cabinet, 7. 

Special meetings. — See "Meetings," p. 



Sprasnie, Eev. William B., D.D., donations 
from, 1, 139, 391. 

Statement, made by Hon. Edward Everett, 
relative to the preparation and delivery 
of his oration on Washington, 86- 

Stamp Act, 382. Description of the riot 
excited by opposition to the, 46-49. 

Standing Committee, 3-7, 15, 16, 19, 51, 
52. 86; 98, 105, 108, 109, 110, 114, 124, 
125. 134, 237, 238, 240, 242. 243, 244, 
245. 251, 265, 272, 273, 290. 312, 316, 
321, 322, 329, 334, 335, 365', 378, 379, 
384. 425, 426. Annual Report of, 4-7. 
Election of, 19. 

Standish, Miles, 6, 142, 144. 

Standish sword, the, 6, 142-143. 

Stated monthly meetings. — See "Meet- 
ings," p. 458. 

State Lunatic Asylum, donation from the 
Trustees of, 429. 

State of Connecticut, donations from, 54, 

State of Massachusetts, donation from, 

State of Ehode Island, donations from, 54, 

State of South Carolina, donation from, 

Stedman, Captain James, 304. 

Stephens, Henrv, donations from, 14, 86, 

Steuben, Baron, 288. 

Stirling, Lord, 288. 

Stoddard, Charles, 11, 334. 

Stone, Rev. Edwin M., donations from, 
309, 330, 365, 373, 379, 391, 437. 

Storey, William, Deputy-Register of the 
Admiralty, 47. 

Storv. Judge, 370. 

Stoughtonham, 384, 387, 389, 390, 392. 

Stuart, Gilbert, medal of, 133-134. 

Sturgis, Hon. William, 228, 255, 273. 
Elected a Resident Member, 54. His 
acceptance of membership, 107. 

Suffield, Conn., donation from the First 
Congregational Church in, 373. 

Suffolk Convention, 291-292. 

Suffolk Savings Bank, 251, 253. 

Sullivan, General, 82. 

Sullivan, William. 46. 

Sumner, Albert, 411. 

Sumner, George, elected a Resident Mem- 
ber, 384. His epistolary tribute to the 
memory of Irving, 422-423. 

Sumner, General William H., 235, 287. 

Sumner, Lieutenant, 297. 

Sundry expenses and receipts, 251. 

Sweetser, Rev. Seth, D.D., donation from, 

Swift, Dean, 398. 

Swift, Job, 392. 

Swords of Col. William Prescott and 
Capt. Linzee, 259, 263, 264, 265, 284. 

Swords of Standish and Brewster, 6. 

Svllacius, Nicolaus, Mr. Lenox's edition 
'of, 437. 


Talfourd, Serjeant, 370. 

Tallmadge, Colonel Benjamin, remini- 
scences of, by Hon. Josiph Quincy, 

Tashe, Colonel, 306. 

Taylor, Daniel T., donation from, 54. 

Tea, destruction of, in 1773-4, 218-219. 

Tennessee Historical Society, donations 
from the, 54, 384. 

Tennessee, donation from the State of, 

Tennessee State Library, donation from 
the, 286. 

Tenny, Rev. L., donation from, 122. 

Thacher, Rev. Peter, 112. 

Thacher: his " Military Journal," 151. 

Thayer, Frederic W., 384. 

Theses of the First and Second Class of 
Harvard College, 439-446. 

Thomas, Hon. Benjamin F., elected a 
Resident Member, 425. His acceptance 
of membership, 430. 

Thomas, General, 78. 

Thompson, Charles, 288. 

Thompson, J. R., donation from, 309. 

Thornton, J. Wingate, 21. Donations 
from, 122, 139, 365. 

Ticknor, Geo., LL.D., 13, 134, 135. 139, 172, 
201, 213, 264, 266, 316, 321, 324, 329, 
422, 425, 431, 438. His remarks on W. 
H. Prescott, 170-172. On Wilson's His- 
tory of the Conquest of Mexico, 277- 
283'. On Alexander Von Humboldt, 
313-314. On Lord Macaulav, 426- 

Tocqueville, De, 313, 429. 

Tony, the negro, on the Vassal Estate, 


Torrey, Professor Henry W., elected a 

Resident Member, 228. 
Tracy, Nathaniel, 64. 
Transcript from the records of the district 

of Stoughtonham, 392. 
Transfer of the Colony Charter of 1628 

from England to Massachusetts, 154- 

Treasurer (Hon. Richard Frothins:ham, 

jun.), 2, 19, 23, 51, 52. 61. 62, 240, 241, 

242, 243, 251, 254, 272, 290. 291. 305, 

308, 309, 381, 425, 437. 
Treasurer's accounts, 19, 251-255, 273, 

Trebv. George, the English lawver, 162, 

163, 164, 165. 
Trumbull, Colonel, 75, 288. 
Trumbull, Governor, 61. 
Tryon, Governor, 58. 
Tudor, Frederic, 112, 115. 121-122, 438. 
Tudor, William, 110, 112, 115. 
Tupper, Major, 296. 
Tyler, General John S., donation from, 

Tvler, President, 403. 




Union College, Schenectady, donations 

from the, 286, 309. 
United States, reputation of, abroad, 118- 

Urquijo, M. de, 315. 


Vaillant, M., late French minister at Avar, 

Vane, Captain, 299. 
Vardell, Parson, 229. 
Vassal F amity, reminiscences of the, 63- 

Vergennes, 375. 
Vespucius,' 117-118. 
Vice-Presidents elected, 19, 272. 
Vinton, Rev. J. A., donation from, 1. 
Voltaire, bust of, 286. 
Vose, Major, 295. 
Votes. — See " Resolutions," p. 461. 


Waddington, Rev. John, of Southwark, 
285, 286, 308. 

Wadsworth, Captain, and the Charter Oak, 

Walker, Rev. James, D.D.: his remarks 
on VV. H. Prescott, 175-176. 

"Walley, Hon. S. H., donation from, 1. 

Walpole, Horace, 24, 25. 

Walsh, Robert, 153. Letter from, to Hon. 
Edward Everett, 231-234. Death of, 

Ward, Colonel, 299. 

Ward, General, 59, 72, 78, 79, 81, 296, 

Ward, John E., donation from, 1. 

Ward, Josh., aid-de-camp to General 
Ward, 78. 

Ward, the English lawyer, 163, 164. 

Wardwell, William T., donation from, 

Warner, Oliver, donation from, 373. 

Warren, Hon. Charles H., 13, 14, 19, 52, 
54, 109, 122, 123, 140, 142-144, 145, 146, 
148, 235, 273, 308, 311, 330. His paper 
on the uniform of the Revolutionary 
Army, 149-154. 

Warren, James, 71. 

Warren, Dr. John, 73. 

Warren, Dr. John C, 46. 

Warren, General Joseph, 23, 26, 57, 82, 84, 
86, 294. 

Warren, J. S., donation from, 54. 

Warren, Richard, donation from, 286. 

Washburn, Hon. Emory, LL.D., 19, 51, 
112, 272, 286, 308, 3l0, 322, 329, 343, 
365, 383, 384, 392, 425, 426, 438. His 
paper on the early charters of Massa- 
chusetts, 154-167. 

Washington Benevolent Society, Boston, 
45, 46. 

Washington, General, 6, 17, 22, 27, 28, 34, 
35, 44-46, 55-63, 67, 68-75, 82, 83, 86, 
113, 136-138, 144, 148, 150-154, 206, 215, 

225, 232, 233, 244, 273, 284, 288, 289, 290, 
295, 297, 300, 302, 306, 313, 414, 415. 

Waterman, Thomas, donation from, 365. 
Waterston, Rev. Robert C, 438. Elected 

a Resident Member, 310. 
Watriss, O. W., 253. 
Watts, Dr. Isaac, 12. 
Wayne, General, 288. 
Webb, Thomas H., M.D., 123, 226, 228, 

235, 309, 365, 378, 379, 383, 430, 438. 
Webster, Daniel, 75, 403. 
Welles, Arnold, 46. 
Welles, George Derby, donation from, 

Wellington, Duke of, 313. 
Wells, Judge, of Connecticut, 82. 
Wentworth, Governor, 81, 345. 
Western Railroad Corporation, donation 

from the, 437. 
Wheatland, Henry, M. D., 1. 
Whipple, S. K., donation from, 139. 
White, Hon. Daniel A., 366. 
White, Dr., of Dedham, 284. 
White, John, the Puritan counsellor, 155. 
Whitehead, W. A., donation from, 365. 
Whitmore, William H., donation from, 

Whitney, Henry Austin, 54, 55, 124, 197, 

226, 272, 365, 392, 425, 429. 
Whittemore, Samuel, 64. 
Whitting, Sergeant, 297. 
Wight, the artist, 319, 320. 
Wightman, J. M., donation from, 430. 
Willard, Abel, 34. 

Willard, Joseph. — See " Corresponding 
Secretary," p. 452. 

Willard, Rev. S., donation from, 146. 

Williams, B. P., donation from, 146. 

Williams, Captain, 296. 

Wilson, Robert Anderson: his "History 
of the Conquest of Mexico," 277-283. 

Wilson, John, donation from, 437. 

Winnington, Sir Francis, 160. 

Winslow, Governor Jnsiah, 123. 

Winslow, Governor, 142. 

Winslow, 149. 

Winslow, Isaac P., 234. 

Winthrop, Benjamin R., donations from, 1, 
52, 133-134,' 244. Elected a Corre- 
sponding Member, 197. His acceptance 
of membership, 226. 

Winthrop, Dr., 44. 

Winthrop, James, 112. 

Winthrop, John, Governor of Massachu- 
setts, 113, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 
147-148, 155, 156, 158. 

Winthrop, John, jun., Governor of Con- 
necticut, 5. 

Winthrop, Hon. Robert C. — See " Presi- 
dent," p. 460. 

Winthrop, William, donations from, 1, 10, 
14, 124. 



Wisconsin Historical Society, donations 
from, 14, 107. Documents of, proposing 
a union of Historical and Antiquarian 
Societies to memorialize Congress, 109. 

Wood, S. S. and W., donation from, 1. 

Woodman, Cyrus, donation from, 139. 

Woods, Rev. Leonard, D.D., donation 
from the, 424. 

Worcester, Joseph E., LL.D., 414. 

Wright, Silas, 433. 

Wyman, Captain William, 297. 


Xenophon's " Anabasis " and Prescott's 
"Ferdinand and Isabella," 202. 


Young, Dr. Thomas, 28. 

Young Men's Mercantile-Library Asso- 
ciation of Cincinnati, donation from 
the, 235.